National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo is the national museum of art of Norway.

It was established on 1 July 2003 through a merger of the Norwegian Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Norway, and the National Touring Exhibitions.

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design holds, preserves, exhibits, and promotes public knowledge about, Norway’s most extensive collections of art, architecture and design. It shows permanent exhibitions of works from its own collections and temporary exhibitions that incorporate works loaned from elsewhere. The Museum’s exhibition venues in Oslo are the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum – Architecture, and the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. The Museum’s programme also includes exhibitions that tour both within and beyond Norway’s borders.

The National Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art

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 Museum – Architecture

The architecture collections, covering historical themes through to contemporary architecture, are on show at the National Museum – Architecture. Two important architects, one from the 19th and one from the 20th century, have contributed to the building in its present form. The main building, designed by Christian H. Grosch, was completed in 1830. It was adapted and extended by Sverre Fehn and opened as an exhibition space for architecture in 2008. The main emphasis of the architecture collection is modernism, with particular focus on the inter-war years. The collection, which consists primarily of the archives of privately practising Norwegian architects, encompasses drawings, photographs, models, correspondence and the like.

The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

The museum features a wide range of design and crafts through the ages. The main exhibitions are devoted to Design and Crafts from the last hundred years and the History of Styles from 1100 to 1900, as well as study collections of fashion and ceramic art. The vast collection ranges from antique Greek vases and East Asian art objects through to the history of European design. It covers costume, fashion and textiles, furniture, silverware, glass, ceramics and other crafts. Among the collection’s highlights are the Baldishol Tapestry, a unique woven Gobelin tapestry from the 12th century, the royal costume collection, and 18th century glass from Nøstetangen, Norway’s first glass workshop, as well as contemporary design and crafts.

A major reconstruction is planned for the National Museum. In 2020 this will integrate The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design into one building. This will be placed in the location of the old Oslo West Station train station at Bjørvika. The building will open in 2020, with an exhibition area 13,000 m². Architect is Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaftvon Architekten mbH. Ramboll is technical advisor and builder’s enigineer on the project.

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