Munch collection goes on view

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A unique collection of lithographs by famed Norwegian artist Edvard Munch has emerged and been put on exhibit at a hotel in the mountains of Norway. The Gundersen Collection is itself collecting impressive reviews.

Pål Georg Gundersen, a wealthy real estate investor in southeast Norway, had been quietly collecting Munch lithographs for years. In 2008 he reportedly was stunned to come over a large collection of them being sold by an estate in London. He bought them all.

His Munch collection now numbers 50 lithographs including Munch’s most famous work, Skrik (The Scream), and five variations of Madonna

They’re all on public view this month at the Thon Hotel Vestlia, a spa resort that Gundersen owns in the mountains at Geilo. They’re also the subject of a new book by Gundersen’s art consultant Ina Johannessen entitled “Edvard Munch- 50 graphic works from the Gundersen Collection.”

Gundersen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that he debated for a long time whether to go public with his collection, not least for security reasons. The exhibit in Geilo features numerous security cameras, all the works are bolted to the walls and personnel is standing guard.

Gundersen refused to say what the collection may be worth, but just one Munch graphic has been known to command a price of more than NOK 11 million.

Gundersen said the Munch collection has been his passion, as is another collection he’s been building up of original writings by Norwegian author Knut Hamsum. Newspaper  Aftenposten, though, speculated that the exhibit and book may signal Gundersen’s desire to sell.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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