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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Munch painting proceeds to be shared

An heir to one of Norway’s large shipping fortunes has sold another of his inherited paintings by Edvard Munch, but with a difference this time. Petter Olsen will share the proceeds from Dans på stranden (Dance on the Beach) with the heirs of an earlier owner who had to sell it cheaply before fleeing Nazi Germany in the early 1930s.

The painting had been owned by German art collector Curt Glaser, who was a friend of Munch’s and had acquired the painting from its original owner, Max Reinhardt. Glaser ultimately had to sell off assets and escape because of Nazi persecution, heading first to Switzerland and then to New York, where he died in 1943.

Meanwhile, Dans på stranden ended up being sold at an auction in Oslo, where it was bought by shipowner Thomas Olsen, who hung it on one of his passenger vessels sailing between Norway and England. The route was cancelled when war broke out in 1939 and Olsen reportedly hid Dans på stranden and around 30 Munch paintings he owned in a barn in the mountains. The Olsen family also left occupied Norway during the war but returned home and to their art when the war ended.

Glaser, meanwhile, has heirs living in Germany, Brazil and the US, and Petter Olsen took the initiative to share the proceeds with them when he sold Dans på stranden. They’re now due to receive a reported quarter of the proceeds from the painting, which had been appraised at between GBP 12 million to 20 million. It sold Wednesday evening at a Sotheby’s auction (external link) for GBP 16,940,300, around NOK 180 million.

Petter Olsen, meanwhile, has used the proceeds from sales of Munch’s art (including a version of The Scream) to finance an ecological and cultural retreat he’s created called Ramme gård, located alongside the Oslo Fjord in Hvitsten, where the Olsen family is based. staff 



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