Munch Museum

What is it about the Munch Museum one needs to know before visiting? Edvard Munch lived from 1863 to 1944 and is to this day the greatest Norwegian painter that ever lived. He established a whole new style in painting art characterized by a free-flowing, psychological-themed approach, evident in his most famous of all his works “The Scream” (1893).

Munch lived in Christiania (Oslo) during his early childhood, his early studies as well as most of his life after 1900. His almost immediate success wasn’t enough to tame his inner demons though which led to him to a life of excessive drinking and mental distress. Four years before his death in 1944 Munch bequeathed all his works of art to the City of Oslo.

The magnificent donation to the City consisted of approx. 1 100 paintings, close to 18 000 prints depicting more than 700 different motifs, 7 500 drawings, and watercolors as well as six sculptures. In addition, there were nearly 500 printing plates, 2 240 books, notebooks, documents, photographs, art tools, accessories, and pieces of furniture.

Munch Museum

Further works of art by Edvard Munch as well as his extensive collection of letters were bequeathed to the City of Oslo by his sister Inger Munch and were added to the Munch collection when she died in 1952.

Today the Munch Museum houses more than half of Edvard Munch’s paintings and most of his print motifs. In the mid-1950s the Oslo City Council decided to build the museum in Tøyen in eastern Oslo.

In May 1963, a hundred years after the artist’s birth, the museum opened in architects Gunnar Fougner and Einar Myklebust’s – by contemporary standards – very modern building. An increasing number of visitors come to the museum and additional space is needed to exhibit more of the collection. The Munch Museum has long outgrown its current premises.

In May 2013, after years of debate, the Oslo City Council voted to build a new Munch Museum in Bjørvika in Oslo’s harbor area, close to the Opera. Spanish architect Herreros Arquitectos won the design competition. The museum also houses several temporary exhibitions of other great masters such as Van Gogh (05/15 ) or even important contemporary artists like Bjarne Melgaard (01/15). Munch Museum.