Farewell to the National Gallery

Norway prepares to move 100,000 works of art to their new museum building

National Gallery of Norway

Photo: Øyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons
Christian Krohg’s “Leiv Eirikson discovers America” in its former place on the Gallery’s wall.

Victoria Garza
Norway Today

An over 130-year-old museum thanks its old home. Now 100,000 works of art will be moved from the venerable National Gallery building in Oslo to its new building at Aker Brygge.

Since 1882, the state has shown art in that building, which is now to be emptied.

“A total of over 100,000 works of art will be moved. It’s a bit of a job. There is talk of fragile paperwork, paintings, glass and heavy sculptures that weigh several tons. So this won’t be a normal relocation where you pack clothes and books into cardboard boxes and drive off,” the National Museum’s Communications Director Eirik Kydland tells NTB.

He points out that security levels are also high, as many of the works are worth hundreds of millions of kroner. The best known is perhaps the National Gallery’s version of Edvard Munch’s “Scream,” but the museum also houses a number of other Munch works, paintings by well-known international artists, and Norwegian national treasures such as “The Bride in Hardanger” and “Winter night in Rondane.”

During 2019, work begins on moving the paintings into the new building at Vestbanehallen near Aker Brygge. The building, which opens in 2020, will have almost 140,000 square feet of exhibition space and 90 exhibition halls.

The National Gallery is part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, and the art collection thus derives from, among other things, contemporary art and the industrial art museum.

The National Gallery building on Universitetsgata will still be used to showcase art: “The government has decided that the building will still be part of the National Museum, which we are very pleased with, says Kydland.

The last day at the former National Gallery was Jan. 13.

This article originally appeared in the January 25, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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