As Oslo’s new Astrup Fearnley Museum launched its first new exhibit since it re-opened in a new landmark location on the waterfront last year, its leaders were hoping for new funding from the state. For the first time since the museum opened 20 years ago, it’s applied for NOK 7 million in state support because of much higher operating costs.
The museum, which now is showing an acclaimed collection of photography by American artist Cindy Sherman, has been privately funded through its own revenues and grants from the Astrup family foundation. Its move to new quarters in a building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano has resulted in a huge jump in operating costs, however, from NOK 14 million to NOK 37 million, reported newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) recently.
“Our operating budget has nearly tripled because of the new building and our ambitions for exhibiting art,” Gunnar Kvaran, managing director of Astrup Fearnley Museum, told DN. “We already get support from Hans Rasmus Astrup and the foundation of Thomas Fearnley, Heddy and Nils Astrup. We therefore are inviting the Ministry of Culture to take part in our project.”
It’s unlikely the state will accept or reject the museum’s “invitation” before next year, when new state budget allocations will be decided. Meanwhile, the museum was moving forward with new exhibits of international interest, including the Cindy Sherman exhibit called “Untitled Horrors.” It was attracting widespread media attention over its collection of what are called both “gruesome, disturbing and comical” photographs of the artist herself in a wide variety of costumes and roles. The exhibit runs until September 22.