The National Gallery of Norway is a gallery in Oslo, Norway. Since 2003 it is administratively a part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.
It was established in 1842 following a parliamentary decision from 1836. Originally located in the Royal Palace, Oslo, it got its own museum building in 1882, designed by Heinrich Ernst and Adolf Schirmer. Former names of the museum include Den norske stats sentralmuseum for billedkunst and from 1903 to 1920 Statens Kunstmuseum. Directors include Jens Thiis (1908–1941), Sigurd Willoch (1946–1973), Knut Berg (1975–1995), Tone Skedsmo (1995–2000) and Anniken Thue (2001–2003).
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design
The National Museum collects and preserves, exhibits and communicates the country’s most extensive collections of art, architecture and design.
The museum shows permanent exhibitions with works from their own collection and various exhibitions with borrowed and own works. The museum’s sights in Oslo are the National Museum – Architecture and Villa Stenersen. The National Gallery temporarily closed on January 13, 2019. The Museum of Fine Arts closed October 16, 2016. The Museum of Contemporary Art closed September 3, 2017. The exhibition program also includes walking exhibitions at home and abroad.The new National Museum opens in 2020.
The museum aims to “raise the knowledge and commitment to visual arts, architecture, crafts and design, develop the critical sense, stimulate new recognition, create greater historical awareness and tolerance for diversity”.
The first statutory board meeting at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design was held on February 11, 2003. On July 1, the same year, the museum was established as a foundation. With this, the merger of the Museum of Architecture, the Art Industry Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Gallery became a fact, and the work of restructuring the National Museum from four individual museum units to a functionally divided organization started. In 2005, the National Museum moved its staff to a new administration building at Kristian Augusts gate 23, and on July 1, 2005, National Exhibitions were transferred to the museum.
The new National Museum
A new collection for the National Museum opens in Oslo in 2020. The architectural competition for the new museum building was won by Kleihues + Schuwerk with the project artis project. Size, location and aggregate functionality in the new building will create a completely unique arena for the arts and the public.
The National Gallery of Norway’s collection will be moved to a new building, opening in 2020 and gathering all sections of the National Gallery, except architecture.
Older and modern art is on show at the National Gallery, contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The main emphasis of the collection is on Norwegian painting and sculpture from the 19th century. The museum also holds an extensive collection of drawings and prints by Norwegian and international artists. Highlights of the collection include major works by Edvard Munch, including The Scream. Other important artists are J.C. Dahl, Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, Harriet Backer and Christian Krohg. The collections from the 20th century illustrate the development of Norwegian fine art with reference to key works of Nordic and international art in the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, video and other media. Central to the collection of international contemporary art is Ilya Kabakov’s permanent installation The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away (1988–1995).
The National Gallery will remain a part of the National Museum and continue to exhibit art in the future.
The Gallery includes pieces by sculptor Julius Middelthun, painters Johan Christian Claussen Dahl, Erik Werenskiold and Christian Krohg as well as works by Edvard Munch including The Scream and one version of his Madonna.
The museum also has old master European paintings by painters such as El Greco, Lucas Cranach the Elder (Golden Age), Gaulli (Sacrifice of Noah), Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia Gentileschi, Andrea Locatelli (Bachannal Scene), Pieter Elinga (Letter Carrier), Ferdinand Bol, Daniel De Blieck (Church Interior), Jacob van der Ulft (Seaport), Cornelis Bisschop (Seamstress) and Jan van Goyen. There are also 19th and 20th Century International paintings by Armand Guillaumin, Carl Sohn, Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet (Rainy Day, Etretat), Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso. There are also Norwegian paintings by Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, Harriet Backer, and Lars Jorde.
The museum presents a number of exhibitions with presentation of Norwegian and foreign art, architecture and design, both in the museum buildings in Oslo, in the rest of Norway through a nationwide program and abroad.
The management of the museum collections aims to preserve the cultural heritage for future generations and includes all activities and measures that ensure that the collections are taken care of, enriched, developed, documented and made available to the public in accordance with today’s professional standards.
Research and development work at the National Museum is mainly carried out in connection with its own exhibitions, collections, publishing and conferences.