The life and works of Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is the most famous artist to come out of Norway. He played a huge role in the symbolist movement in the 1890s and went on to be one of the pioneers of expressionist art. He was in a large part responsible for the global art movement in his time. Upon his death in 1944, he bequeathed all his surviving works of art to the city of Oslo. This collection is now proudly on display at the Munch Museum in Tøyen. This gift consisted of no less than 1,100 paintings, 18,000 prints based on 700 motifs, 7,500 drawings and watercolors and six sculptures. In addition, there are close to 500 printing plates, 2,240 notebooks, documents, photographs, artist tools, supplies and furniture in the collection. The Munch collection holds more than half of the artist’s paintings and most of his motifs, placing this museum in a league of its own.
The birth of a museum
It wasn’t until 21 years after the artist’s death that the museum came into fruition. Norwegian Architects, Myklebust and Fougner, were behind the building project, which would house this expansive collection. In 1963, the building was considered extremely contemporary for its time. 1994 saw the building’s expansion to include two new wings. As well as a journey into the life and works of Edvard Munch, a series of temporary exhibitions, often combining Munch’s work with other famous artists, is on display. Previous masters on display have included Van Gogh, as well as Norwegian artists, Gustav Vigeland and Bjarne Melgaard.
Few Norwegian artists have left such a huge impression on the art world. His two most famous breakthrough masterpieces were ‘Scream’ and ‘Madonna’. His legacy will again come into its own when a new museum, currently under construction, opens its doors in Oslo’s Bjørvika in 2019.
Making the most of your visit
It is possible to become even more aquatinted with Munch and his work by joining on of the guided tours, available in several languages. It is recommended to contact the museum in advance to make sure there is a tour running during your visit. In the museum shop, you will find an inspiring and wide range of Munch motif prints, books and publications, as well as souvenirs. With new reading material in your hand, end your visit at the museum’s café for a spot of lunch.
From the Radisson Blu Hotel, Oslo Alna, you can enjoy all the benefits of the city, while retreating in style. At the same time, you will just be a short metro ride away from the Munch Museum and some of Oslo’s other major attractions.