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The New Munch Museum in Oslo

Published on , by Frank Claustrat

The former Munch Museum in Oslo gets a makeover, moving into a brand-new building with a stage design worthy of Norway’s iconic artist.

Munch - Photo Einar Aslaksen The New Munch Museum in Oslo

Munch - Photo Einar Aslaksen

Located until 2020 outside central Oslo in the working-class district of Tøyen, the original Munch Museum had unquestionably become too small and no longer guaranteed the safety of its collection. In 1940, four years before his death, Edvard Munch wrote a will bequeathing his entire estate to the city. (His post-mortem inventory included some 27,000 items: 1,200 paintings, 7,000 drawings, 18,000 prints, six sculptures, thousands of books, copious correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, lithograph stones, copper plates and engraved wood blocks.) Discussions about a future museum began. Munch became involved, but the project stalled. In the end, he never saw his pet project take shape: the installation in a public space, under his supervision, of the “Frieze of Life”, a selection of major paintings he described as a “poem of life, love and death”. The City of Oslo only approved the construction of a museum in Tøyen in 1946. A competition launched seven years later was won by the Norwegian architects Gunnar Fougner and Einar Myklebust, with a sober, functional one-story building in reinforced…
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