The largest art museum in the Nordic countries has just opened, uniting four important institutions into one.
The long-awaited and long-delayed Nasjonalmuseet, or National Museum (NAM) in Oslo, comprises more than 400,000 objects from the collections of the Norwegian National Gallery, the Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Art.
Over 6,500 of these objects are on display, giving visitors a perspective on all of Norway’s cultural heritage under one roof.
Although there is a new Munch museum in the city (opened in October last year), early versions by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch The Scream are at NAM, along with rare antiques and significant contemporary art.
Designed by Italian-German architect Klaus Schuwerk, the new $740 million, 13,000 square meter waterfront edifice is designed as a blend of classicism and modernism, nodding to two important Norwegian architects, Christian Heinrich Grosch from the 19th century and Sverre Fehn from the 20th century.
Schuwerk’s design was not universally praised. Critics called it gray box and timeless with the modern gallery form (although Melburnians are fondly used to the gray box as an art gallery). NAM director Karin Hindsbo said the aim was for the building to blend in with its neighborhood outside and provide the ultimate space inside to view the collection.
The building also has a grass roof, not yet visible at street level, and vines will eventually grow on the facade.
And then there is the crowning glory: the 2400 square meter Light Hall, with a versatile interior. Illuminated by 9000 energy-efficient LED lights, it shines into the night like a beacon of promise and creativity.