Stein Olav Munch Hencrichsen new director at Munch Museum

Stein Olav Henrichsen will head the new Munch Museum in Oslo. Photo: Odd Mehus

Stein Olav Henrichsen will head the new Munch Museum in Oslo. Photo: Odd Mehus

Stein Olav Henrichsen has been appointed director of the Munch Museum. An arrogant choice, says art professor.

He will thus lead the new museum which includes the Munch Museum and Stenersen Museum. Henrichsen comes from the post of opera director in Bergen. There, he led among other things, the merger of the Opera West and the New Opera.

Was not looking

Henrichsen was not searching, but was recruited by head hunters.

Stein Olav Henrichsen is a trained musician and has also to be chairman of the foundation Ultima Music Festival for many years. He has therefore no extensive experience in arts management, which many have supposed was necessary to lead the new Munch Museum.

“I hope people will focus what I can do” says Henrichsen, which among other things, is engaged in the topic of children and art.

Strategic Capacity

As a new director of the Munch Museum Henrichsen will lead the construction of the new museum in Bjørvika.

He will also prepare for the anniversary exhibition in 2013, marking the 150th anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth.

“The Munch Museum has obtained a leader who has the right strategic capabilities and leadership skills required to lead the agency in an exciting time” said city council leader Stian Berger Røsland (H).


“This is an incomprehensible decision” says NRK’s art critic and commentator Mona Pahl Bjerke. “I do not know this man, and can not say anything about him” she said.

Mona Pahl Bjerke believes that Oslo should have hired someone that had applied for the job.

“Their was an obvious candidate on the search list, namely Iris Müller Westermann who works at Moderna Museet in Stockholm” said Pahl Bjerke.


It was very surprising, and it seems very arrogant from Oslo to bypass the art history community” says Wenche Gulbrandsen, visual artist and former professor at the Art Academy in Oslo.

I think Oslo has made a very bad preparation here, and had weak applicants.

Why is it so important to the Munch Museum to have a president with arts background?

Because it is about credibility. It is about representing the most important Norwegian arts has provided over all, both internally and internationally. One gets little sense and again, that lack of competence is knowledge in itself.

Whoever has this job is certainly a very excellent choice in their own area, but the art world was totally overlooked” says Gulbrandsen. And it’s very interesting, why their was such weak applicants? I do not see it, this has been a topic of conversation for a long time.

Source: NRK

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