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Half a million visitors for «Munch 150»

26 Nov, 2013

After four and a half months, the “Munch 150” sesquicentennial exhibition has had 484,325 visitors. This is a record for both the National Gallery and the Munch Museum.

The most comprehensive Munch exhibition in history opened on 2 June this year, and closed on Sunday, 13 October. During the final weeks, there were long lines to enter the museums, and almost half a million people attended the unique exhibition, which was shared between the National Gallery and the Munch Museum, making the sesquicentennial exhibition the most visited exhibition in Norwegian history.

"It is fantastic that so many have experienced Munch's art through this magnificent exhibition. We are proud to be one of the main sponsors of the 2013 sesquicentennial anniversary for Edvard Munch," says Senior Vice President of Corporate Communication in Statkraft, Bente E. Engesland.

During the exhibition, Munch's studio at Ekely, the Great Hall of the University of Oslo and the cafeteria at the Freia chocolate factory in Oslo, have been open to the public during weekends, receiving more than 25,000 visitors.

In comparison, the highly popular Munch exhibition in Paris, "The Modern Eye" drew 486,888 visitors.

"Exceeded our wildest expectations"

"This has exceeded our wildest expectations. We could not have had a stronger manifestation of Edvard Munch's significance for our time!" says Stein Olav Henrichsen, director of the Munch Museum.

Audun Eckhoff, director of the National Museum, agrees:

"It has been a great joy to see the massive interest for the exhibition, with both Norwegian and international audiences. It is safe to say that we have achieved our goal of increasing knowledge, curiosity and enthusiasm for Munch's life and art."

The sesquicentennial celebration continues. On 2 November, a new, major exhibition opens at the Munch Museum. "Munch on paper" will showcase graphic art, drawings and water paintings – including 200 sketch books with 4500 drawings, many on public display for the very first time.

Year-long celebration

The sesquicentennial for Edvard Munch's birth is celebrated throughout 2013. A number of events will celebrate his life and art. The highlight was the sesquicentennial exhibition, but there have been other exhibitions, performances, concerts, lectures and other event across the country.

Three major research conferences have and will be held, about 20 books have been published, and several films have been produced or are under production. There is also vast international interest in Munch, with exhibitions from New York to Tokyo.

Statkraft was also the Norwegian sponsor of the very popular Munch exhibition in Paris last year, entitled "The Modern Eye", as well as for the exhibit at Tate Modern in London this summer.

"The great Munch celebration in 2013 is of national and international significance. It is both exciting and important to Statkraft that the sesquicentennial programme includes activities in many locations in Norway," says Bente E. Engesland.