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Cool’n crazy sights in Norway Nr 7. Munch Museet in Oslo

Cool’n crazy sights in Norway Nr 7. Munch Museet in Oslo

The Munch Museet is a pleasurable distraction, if you cherish fin de siecle drama on canvas, like my dedicated self. Munch, the Norwegian artist, definitely had some psychological issues, which he transformed into impressive-distressing colour choices  and composition. Femme fatale, seductive and mysterious, tragic beauties, well captured in moments of contemplation and various states of disturbance, despair and expressive positions.


The Munch Museet.

Munch Museet Oslo


I saw Munch’s ‘Scream’ and was impressed by the intensity of the layered sky painted mainly with the colour of blood, and the protruding fetal face expressing serious anxiety. Munch was intrigued by the dominant sky above the fjord, and symptomatic for his illness heard some kind of a scream from nature, which he visualised in his most famous painting.

Public favourite and Munch’s darling, the red haired lover.

The Scream Munch Museet Oslo Nude with red hair Munch Museet Oslo


Here is a detail from one of the less popular works, probably showing how ‘The Scream’ looked like as an infant.

Scary baby Munch Musset Oslo


Or maybe Munch used this man’s great-grandfather as a model.

The Scream Munch Museet Oslo


The Scream inspires art lovers and thieves alike. In 1994 the museum was visited by some vigilantes, who broke in, taking the Scream and leaving a thank you note, that read “Thanks for the poor security”. In 1988 Munch’s Vampire had been stolen by the same perpetrator. In 2004 two men walked  in during daylight and out with the Scream and Madonna.  I totally follow the desire to own a Munch and would have loved to ‘borrow’ these myself, but unfortunately my connections to the underground crime world are rather slim.

Every time the paintings have been recovered, however it wasn’t till the last theft that security was seriously improved. There is a major x-ray checkpoint and then a huge security counter inside, but the way paintings are stored/displayed just opposite the Munch Museet is somewhat intriguing.

Opposite the Munch Museet, the GAD is a mobile gallery for contemporary art consisting of ten containers.

GAD art gallery Oslo


The Mega control base inside the Munch Museet. I was too short too have a peek at what was going on behind that security counter.

Security Munch Museet Oslo


Airport security. Smokers have to leave cigarette lighters behind.

Security Munch Museet Oslo


Art corner for kids everyone. Tomek patiently waiting for his turn.

Art corner Munch Museet Oslo


Well done.

The Scream Munch Museet Oslo


This summer’s exhibition is named ‘Puberty’, according to Munch’s painting of a young girl, who sits naked on the edge of the bed, with her arms crossed protectively before her. After over ten years of restoration the painting is finally on public display again. The painting symbolises the disturbing changes when adulthood is approaching, and is the starting point for the exhibition, from where ninety works with links to the theme have been chosen for public viewing.

‘Puberty’ to the left, ‘Nude by the wicker chair’ on the right.

Puberty Munch Musset Oslo Nude by wicker chair Munch Musset Oslo


Munch had a tough childhood – dad was a doctor but foremost a religious fanatic, mum was half the age of dad and died during Munch’s childhood years, just as his sister. His other sister spent most of her life in a mental institution and his brother died at the age of only 30. Munch suffered from emotional problems and had been drinking heavily for years, eventually becoming an alcoholic. Maybe he was trying to self-medicate with alcohol, since he seems to have experienced auditory and visual hallucinations throughout his life. The fascinating fruits of creativity and mental illness.

‘Anxiety’ and ‘Despair’ are the names of the paintings.

Anxiety Munch Museet Oslo


Symbols of anxiety, age, fragility and defiance.

Painting Munch Musset Oslo


Munch had a love affair with a dominating older woman, whom he depicted as a vampire in his painting of the same name.

Vampire Munch Museet Oslo


Female motifs and the thematic studies of the relationship between man and women crop up in many variations.

Women Munch Museet Oslo


Unfortunately my Munch favourite, the ‘Madonna’, was missing, so I treated myself to a button with her black and white portrait. And the exhibition poster with ‘Puberty’. It was hard to resist the souvenir rubbers, pens and all the other buttons.

Madonna button souvenir Munch Museet Oslo


PS. In Norwegian it is pronounced ‘moonk’, not ‘moonch’!

Opening hours, admission (is 95 NOK) and directions:

If you are going to do more sightseeing, get the Oslo Pass, a great saver while travelling in Oslo.

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