About the Munch Museum

Following a short illness Edvard Munch died on the 23rd of January 1944, at home in his villa Ekely on the outskirts of Oslo. Four years had passed since he bequeathed all his works of art to the City of Oslo.

The Munch Collection

The magnificent donation to the City consisted of approx. 1 150 paintings, close to 18 000 prints depicting more than 700 different motifs, 7 700 drawings and watercolours as well as 13 sculptures. In addition there were nearly 500 printing plates, 2 240 books, notebooks, documents, photographs, art tools, accessories and pieces of furniture. Further works of art by Edvard Munch as well as his extensive collection of letters were bequeathed to the City of Oslo by his sister Inger Munch, and were added to the Munch collection when she died in 1952. Today the Munch Museum houses more than half of Edvard Munch's paintings and most of print motifs.

The Munch Museum

Edvard Munch himself initiated a discussion about a future Munch Museum with Jens Thiis, the director of the National Gallery, back in 1927. The City of Oslo made its decision to build a Munch Museum in 1946. Discussions about where to locate it started from day one. Should it be placed in the Vigeland Park in the Frogner District or downtown behind the Royal Palace? Or maybe it should be built at Grünerløkka, where the artist had spent important years of his childhood?

In the mid-1950s the Oslo City Council decided to build the museum in Tøyen in eastern Oslo. In May 1963, a hundred years after the artist's birth, the museum opened in architects Gunnar Fougner and Einar Myklebust's – by contemporary standards – very modern building.

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The new Munch Museum
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The New Munch Museum

An increasing number of visitors come to the museum and additional space is needed in order to exhibit more of the collection. The Munch Museum has long outgrown its current premises. In May 2013, after years of debate, the Oslo City Council voted to build a new Munch Museum in Bjørvika in the Oslo's harbour area, close to the Opera. Spanish architects Herreros Arquitectos won the design competition and the new museum will be completed in 2019.