MUSEUM GUIDE: Norway’s capital is packed with museums, and they’re often popping up in the news. We’re following that news, and focus every week this spring on a specific museum worthy of a visit.
THIS WEEK: Summer scenes from Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch, are highlighted in this year’s summer exhibition at The Munch Museum in Oslo — along with the classic Scream and Madonna.
Last week Views and News featured the wonders of spring at Oslo’s Botanical Gardens. Just adjacent to the gardens’ eastern entrance at Tøyen is arguably Norway’s most famous museum of all, The Munch Museum. And it’s offering some seasonal wonders as well.
The Munch Museum continues to attract a lot of attention in Norway and internationally. In addition to housing the large collection of works that Munch himself willed to the City of Oslo, it was the scene of a spectacular robbery six years ago, later went through major security modifications and now seems destined to move to new quarters on the waterfront next to Oslo’s new Opera House. Its design and price tag have sparked protests, but the project is supposed to be open by 2014, in time for Norway’s bicentennial.
In the meantime, the current museum continues to attract thousands of visitors every year and has received major funding from Idemitsu Petroleum of Japan, including a new grant earlier this year.
As an international search goes on for a new boss for the new Munch Museum, current staff goes about its everyday business of exhibiting Munch’s works, although most of it remains in storage because there’s room to display only a small portion of it. As a result, exhibits are changing constantly and now the museum staff has opted for a summertime theme.
“The new exhibit is first and foremost a broad review for the general public, both heavy and light,” art historian Frank Høifødt, who put the exhibit together, told newspaper Dagsavisen recently. “We’re showing many works that usually don’t hang in the museum.”
Included among them are some of Munch’s well-known beach scenes, including Separation from 1896 and lesser-known works like Midsummer from 1915. There’s also several paintings from the period when Munch was inspired by the Impressionists, and mystical works like Summer Night.
The most famous works from the museum’s permanent collections are also on display, including the priceless, stolen, returned and repaired Scream and Madonna. Both were snatched during a brutal, commando-style robbery that shocked Norwegians and the art world. It all ended up making the paintings even more famous than before.
The Summer Exhibition at the Munch Museum will run through September 26.
The Munch Museum
www.munch.museum.no (external link)
Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm, weekends 11am-5pm. From June 1 through August 31, everyday from 10am to 6pm. Take any subway (T-bane) to Tøyen and follow the signs, or take the #20 bus to the Munch Museum.
Admission: Adults NOK 75, NOK 40 for children, students and seniors over age 67.
ALSO IN OUR MUSEUM GUIDE:
The Natural History Museum – Botanical Gardens
The National Museum – Architecture
“Be a tourist in your own town”
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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