Oslo's Airport is Now an Edvard Munch Mini-Museum

Gardemoen Airport, Oslo | © Sean Hayford Oleary / Flickr
Gardemoen Airport, Oslo | © Sean Hayford Oleary / Flickr
Photo of Danai Christopoulou
30 November 2017

The Oslo airport was never too shabby to begin with. Renovated this year and boasting the world’s greenest terminal, Gardermoen certainly doesn’t lack in entertainment options and things to do—as its 32 shops and 38 restaurants and bars can attest to. Well, starting this December, you can add “admiring a Munch painting” to these options.

A museum on the move

What happens when the museum containing the largest Edvard Munch collection in the world (around 28,000 works of art) decides to relocate from a hip area to downtown Oslo, next to the Opera? Well, in most cases, that would be the end of the story—but for the Munch Museum it’s only the beginning.

The project Munchmuseet on the Move, which has already started and will be concluded in 2019 (the new premises open in 2020), traces the museum’s move from Tøyen to the waterfront in Bjørvika, by creating temporary art spaces and setting up exhibitions all over the city. In this spirit, it comes as no surprise that you can now encounter traces of the famous Norwegian artist all around town—even at the airport.

The Munch Museum | Courtesy of Munchmuseet

Destination: Munch

To be fair, this project has been in the works for some time now. Back in 2013, when Edvard Munch would have turned 150 years old, there was a huge anniversary show at the Munch Museum and the National Gallery, and works of the artist were on view at the airport as well. However, the works on display at the airport then were reproductions. This time, it will be different.

Starting December 1, passengers to the new international terminal will have the chance to come head-to-head (pun intended) with a Munch painting, displayed in a large, free-standing frame. According to the museum’s director, Stein Olav Henrichsen, this small satellite of The Munch Museum at Oslo Airport grants Munch’s art access to “a totally new and exciting arena.”

How Edvard Munch’s painting will look | Courtesy of the Munchmuseet

More than nine million passengers passed through the international terminal during the first part of 2017 (according to Avinor, the company that runs the airport), and hundreds of thousands pass through it every day. Now, people will get to admire the work of the iconic artist whose legacy is so significant to Norway (and the world).

Every year, a new work from the museum’s collection will be chosen for exhibition. The first work of art to be exhibited is Munch’s Head to Head, starting December 1, 2017. Make sure to stop by on your next flight to or from Oslo and take in the sight.

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