The history of the Munch Museum is packed with dramatic incidents, important cultural events, and surprising facts. For example, did you know that Ivan the Rottweiler lived at the Museum from 1967 until 1972? Ivan was paid in dog food to guard the building. And did you know that The Scream and Madonna were stolen in 2004?

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Visitors to this final major exhibition at Tøyen will learn about key aspects of Norway’s cultural history while enjoying the opportunity to view some of the Museum’s iconic works, including The Scream, Madonna and Vampire. The exhibition will look back at highlights of the Museum’s time at Tøyen, while at the same time looking forward to its future at Bjørvika.

Various experts and contemporary artists will contribute new viewpoints on the history of the Museum, and a programme of events will run concurrently. The journey from Edvard Munch’s bequest of his artworks to the City of Oslo to the opening of the Museum in 1963, and then on to the Museum as it is today, will give visitors an immersive experience of the most important events of this period. Topics to be highlighted in separate areas of the exhibition will include: Munch’s bequest of his artistic estate to the City of Oslo; the theft by armed robbers of The Scream and Madonna; a history of exhibitions at the Munch Museum and of exhibitions of Munch’s works at foreign institutions; and the Museum’s central place in the musical and cultural life of Oslo. Simultaneously, the exhibition will look forward to the opening of the new Museum, and artists including Jon Gundersen, Elise Storsveen, Per-Oskar Leu and Birgitte Sigmundstad have been invited to participateby contributing new works.

In addition to displaying works by contemporary artists, the diversity and scope of the exhibition will be enhanced by contributions from experts in a range of disciplines, including architectural history, art history and literature. Visitors will learn how the physical constraints of the building have changed over the course of the Museum’s architectural history; about the importance of research and conservation to the Museum’s work; and about the Museum’s efforts to promote the art of Edvard Munch internationally. The story of the 2004 robbery provides an opportunity to consider the value of Munch’s art. Was such a dramatic event necessary to force us to understand the true greatness and value of these works?

The exhibition will also provide insight into the diverse nature of cultural events held at the Munch Museum over the years. Younger visitors may not be aware of the Museum’s history as a centre of cultural activity, including its role as a forum for new music – a tradition that has been revived more recently with the concert series Jazzat Munch.

By linking the story of the Museum to Norway’s political and social history, the exhibition explains the Museum’s role as a guardian of Edvard Munch’s art and as a cultural institution in a wider sense. Quite simply, the exhibition will be a grand finale for the Museum at Tøyen.