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Munch's Laboratory - The Path to the Aula

decoration04 Sept. 2011|09 Jan. 2012
The exhibition "Munch's Laboratory. The Path to the Aula" is the Munch Museum's contribution to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the University of Oslo. The museum's project has Munch and the 1911 celebrations as it's historical basis. The former chancellor of the University, Waldemar Christian Brøgger, had great ambitions, a few years after the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905. The plans included a new festival hall with monumental decorations. Munch was interested in such a task, but in 1909, when the decoration competition was announced, he was not among the invited artists. He started work yet with his first ideas and managed to position himself as a participant. In 1911 the jury could not agree on a winner. But after a long and exciting process Munch won the competition in 1914, and in 1916 he was able to install the experimental, expressionist monumental paintings in the Aula. 

Over the time one has forgotten the boldness with which Munch made the pictures, and how hard he worked to achieve that they would be exhibited in the Aula. Today it's difficult to understand how radical and controversial these paintings were, and which important role they played in the Norwegian cultural politics between 1909 and 1916. It was a great deal of prestige to the project, the first major public art commission after the dissolution of the union in 1905. Among both artists and art commentators, it was seen as a symbol of Norway's future as a "cultural nation".


04 Sept. 2011|09 Jan. 2012
Tøyengata 53
Munch Museet
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