Iconic art cities like Paris, Vienna, and Amsterdam grace Europe, but Oslo is emerging as a prime artistic hub. Brimming with independent galleries, art museums, and sculpture parks, Oslo is fast becoming a key cultural destination. “Its evolution is symbolized by the opening of the National Museum in June 2022 -reinforcing its standing as a North European center for arts”, says marketing director Tord Karsten Rønning Krogtoft at the National Museum in Oslo. Over the past 20 years, art and culture in Oslo have flourished tremendously – making it an enticing spot for art enthusiasts. For a life-affirming experience, here is an art lover’s guide to Oslo.
Oslo has several art museums that feature ancient artifacts, contemporary art from local artists, and famous pieces known all over the world. One of the places that is a must-see is the Munchmuseet, a former container port turned museum that houses the works of Norway’s famous artist, Edvard Munch. Apart from three versions of his most iconic piece, “The Scream,” this museum features over 20,000 of his works, including some of Munch’s largest and most ambitious paintings in the Monumental Collection Exhibit. The whole museum consists of 13 floors, and 7 of them are for Munch’s works alone. Artists who’d like to improve their craft can also join their workshops, with graphic design and silkscreen workshops scheduled for October 2022.
You can read more about the new Edvard Munch museum in Oslo by clicking the image below.
A visit to the National Museum should also be on your agenda since it’s where you can enjoy a permanent exhibition of about 6,500 works from Norway’s collection of art, design, and architecture. This collection covers a historical span of nearly 3,000 years, so expect to see pieces from antiquity to modern times. They also have temporary exhibitions which shouldn’t be missed. Currently, the institution has an exhibit called “Oltre Terra: Why Wool Matters” which runs until October, and “Queer Folk Dress,” which will run until 18 May 2025.
You can read more about the new National Museum by clicking the image below.
Sculpture Park and Outdoor Art Experiences
If you’re a fan of art installations made out of metal such as Barbara Hepworth’s “Summer Dance” or Isamu Noguchi’s “Red Cube,” head to the Vigeland Sculpture Park in the Frogner Park to view over 200 metal sculptures by Gustave Vigeland. Admission is free and it’s open all day and all-year round, so you can see works like “The Angry Boy” and “The Monolith” even at odd hours of the day.
You can read more about the Vigeland Sculpture Park by clicking the image below.
Another sculpture park that should be on every artist’s travel itinerary is the Kistefos Museum. To go there, you’ll need to go on a one-hour bus ride heading north-west of Oslo, but make sure to check if they’re open. The 2023 season is slated to end on 15th October, so remember to book your tickets in advance. Kids up to the age of 16 are free though, so families should definitely consider visiting this destination. Take a walk around the park and see 52 sculptures, including ones from famous contemporary artists like Anish Kapoor and Fernando Botero. You can also see unique pieces like the lustrous, alien-like “I’m Alive” sculpture by Tony Cragg and a 3-metre high teddy bear called “Teddy- Beast of the Hedonic Treadmill” by Fredrik Raddum.
You can read more about the Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park by clicking the image below.
To know all about up and coming Norwegian artists and view impressive contemporary art, make a beeline towards some of the best art galleries in Oslo.
First up is Galleri Ramfjord at Schwensensgate This gallery features temporary exhibits of works from local artists like Andre Lundquist and Kai Savelsberg, and here, you can buy paintings starting at kr 16,000, so it’s definitely a must-see for those who want to expand their art collection.
Another gallery that shouldn’t be missed is the Galleri Semmingsen at Niels Juels gate 50. This place also focuses on contemporary Nordic artists who specialize in painting, photography, paper works, and sculpture. The gallery’s Autumn Exhibition is currently featured and will run until 9th October, so check it out to see sculptures by Fredrik KB and paintings by Thomas Knarvik, among others. The artworks for sale are also quite affordable, with some priced as low as kr 12,000.
Oslo is a fantastic city for art lovers. Head to these museums, galleries, and sculpture parks for art experiences that will captivate you and leave lasting memories.
An Art Lover’s Guide To Oslo, written dedicatedly for Daily Scandinavian by Karoline Gore. Karoline is a freelance writer from Stoke on Trent in the UK who left the corporate grind when she started a family and has never looked back. She enjoys contributing to a range of online publications on the topics that are important to her.
Feature image (on top): © From the Edvard Munch Museum. Photo: Strawberry Hotels.