Norway's Massive Munch Museum Finally Opens to the Public

  • October 21, 2021 11:56

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Edvard Munch, The Sun, 1910–11. Oil on canvas. Photo © Munchmuseet.
Edvard Munch, Summer Night. The Voice. Oil on unprimed canvas, 1896. Photo © Munchmuseet
My Bed in the Tracey Emin Exhibition: The Loneliness of the Soul, at MUNCH. Photo © Munchmuseet
MUNCH, Oslo. Photo © Einar Aslaksen
Edvard Munch with his dog Boy. Photo: Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch, Vampire. Oil on canvas, 1895. Photo: Munchmuseet.
Installation view of the Tracey Emin Exhibition: The Loneliness of the Soul, at MUNCH. Photo © Munchmuseet

A decade in the making, a museum dedicated to one of Norway's most famous artists debuts this week. Oslo's new waterfront Munch museum—rebranded as MUNCH—is among the world's largest museums devoted to a single artist.

MUNCH opens to the public on October 22, with tickets available from the museum website.

Iconic artworks by Edvard Munch (1863-1944) are known the world-over. The brand-new museum shows a bigger picture of Munch by weaving together art and artifacts to tell the artist's story, from his turmoil with illness, heartbreaks, jealousy, temper and obsessions to his other human side shown with taking selfies, innovating tech, enjoying his dogs and vegetarian leanings.

Several versions of Munch's famous The Scream, and one of Madonna, which he alterntively titled Woman Making Love, are among the artwork highlights on view, along with the largest trove of his innovative self-portrait photography, printing plates, lithographic stones, woodcuts, and thousands of letters and personal items.

An opening exhibition entitled Infinite explores Munch's recurring themes of anxiety, death, love, and loneliness through his art and objects, showing his ideas, processes, and the profoundly human topics that occupied him and still resonate today.

Another highlight is the dedicated double-height gallery for Munch's first major project for a public space. The Monumental exhibition on floor 6 features these experimental and enormous paintings, including The Sun, made by Munch for the University of Oslo’s Ceremonial Hall in 1911.

Altogether, 11 exhibition halls showcase a wide array of Munch’s work together, more than was ever before possible, and in context with each other, as the artist preferred. Studio space, research and conservation facilities, and a 13th-floor restaurant overlooking the Oslo fjord will attract visitors.

Also, rotating special exhibitions will bring other artists into the space, launching with Munch-inspired British artist Tracey Emin over two floors. The Loneliness of the Soul features Emin’s emotion-filled paintings, sculptures and neon text work, chosen by the artist herself, with some works displayed with Munch's to show their creative connection.

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