The Munch Museum’s permanent collection currently includes four collections that were donated to the City of Oslo. Of course, the most famous is Edvard Munch’s extraordinary bequest in 1944. The Rolf E. Stenersen Collection, which was donated in 1936, is also well known. Far less famous, however, are the Amaldus Nielsen Collection, which was donated by Nielsen’s family in 1933, and the collection of paintings, drawings and diaries by Ludvig O. Ravensberg, donated in 1972.
In the exhibition we will display both familiar and lesser known works from our collections – to highlight the importance of each of them.
In addition to drawing attention to these collections, this exhibition also traces the intriguing histories and personalities behind specific works. This is the first time that works from all four collections are displayed alongside each other in a unified exhibition. Together, they cover a century, from around 1860 to 1960, of diverse trends in Norwegian art history.
The stockbroker, author and art collector Rolf E. Stenersen (1899–1978) was a leading figure in Norwegian cultural circles from the interwar years until the time of his death. Stenersen and Munch met around 1920 and became firm friends. As well as collecting Munch’s work, Stenersen also acted as his financial adviser and supported him both professionally and personally. Gradually Stenersen also began to build up a collection of works by other contemporary Norwegian artists, including Ludvig Karsten, Rolf Nesch, Olav Strømme and Jakob Weidemann.
Ludvig O. Ravensberg (1871–1958) was related to Edvard Munch and for many years assisted him with various practical matters, including arranging exhibitions. He left a large collection of diaries that include, among other things, accounts of his encounters and travels with Munch. Ravensberg was himself a practicing artist and exhibited his paintings for the first time at the age of 83.
The exhibition will also examine what it means to own a collection. What is a donation? Does it have a significance other than honouring the donor? And not least, how will the collection appear to the public of the future?
Det vil bli anledning til å oppleve kjente og ukjente kunstverk fra samlingene, både for å vise bredden i det vi eier, og også for å synliggjøre forbindelsen mellom samlingene og viktigheten av hver og en av dem. Særlig betydningsfyll er Stenersen-samlingen og hva den betyr for forståelsen av Edvard Munch.