Edvard Munch: Eyes. The Voice. Crayon, black, 1893-96. Photo © Munchmuseet

All is Life

What is the real meaning of the extraordinary collection of texts, sketches and prints that Edvard Munch called The Tree of Knowledge? Get a glimpse into Munch’s world of ideas by exploring one of the greatest mysteries he left behind.


Floor 3
22.10.2021 – 14.11.2021

“All is life” is a quotation from one of the biggest mysteries in the museum’s collection. It is a large, heavy album in which Edvard Munch collected drawings, prints and texts written in colourful letters. No one knows why he created this album. Was it a book proposal? Or was it an attempt to organise his ideas?

What we do know is that he worked on the album for several decades, and that it was probably never completed. The most astonishing part of its content is perhaps Munch’s own texts about love, jealousy, life and death, composed in large, colourful lettering.

Munch kept most of his works for himself. To him, a small, unfinished drawing could be just as significant as some of the works we are most familiar with today. Munch preferred his pictures to be viewed within a context, believing that only then would they gain a unique resonance.

The Tree of Knowledge takes us into the heart of Munch’s artistic project and draws attention to the diversity of the collection he left behind – not a completed narrative of famous masterpieces, but a lifetime’s work that also encompasses the unfinished, experimental and mysterious.

From the exhibition

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait in Woman's Hair: Salome Paraphrase. Gouache, brush, pencil, 1894-1898. Photo: Munchmuseet.
 Edvard Munch: Anxiety. Oil(?) on canvas, 1894. Photo © Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch: Handwritten text. "I was walking along the road with two friends". Watercolor, circa 1930. Photo © Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch: Eyes. The Voice. Crayon, black, 1893-96. Photo © Munchmuseet

    The exhibition is made by

  • Project Team

    Curator: Nora Ceciliedatter Nerdrum
    Concept Developer Learning: Tove Aadland Sørvåg
    Text Editor: Kristin Valla
    Project Manager: Maria Fonneløp

    Registrar: Adriane Solberg
    Head of Marketing: Tone Brunner
    Technical Producer: Nina Akubue Bakke
    Exhibition Technician: Benny André Lund
    Art Technicians: Young Lunde, Tomas Einarsson, 
    Andrea Galiazzo, Dimitri Thomas-Komissarov
    Painting Conservator: Lina Wulff Flogstad
    Paper Conservator: Magdalena Godzimirska
    Security: Marie Kristine Skorstad
    Photo: Ove Kvavik, Halvor Bjørngård

  • Design & Architecture

    Exhibition Architect: Vilhelm Christensen
    Light Design: Tara Fox
    Graphic Design: Vilhelm Christensen / Parabol Studio

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