About the Collection – A fragile inheritance
Our collection consists of almost 28 000 artworks and more than 42 000 unique museum objects. Edvard Munch’s bequest comprises one of the world’s largest collections of works by a single artist.
In addition to the extraordinary gift that Edvard Munch bequeathed to the City of Oslo in 1940, the Museum is also home to the collections of Rolf Stenersen, Amaldus Nielsen and Ludvig O. Ravensberg. Together the four collections, which were all donated by private individuals, provide us with insight into a unique period of art history extending over almost 100 years.
The largest and most valuable part of the Museum’s collection consists of Munch’s bequest. When Munch died in 1944, the collection was distributed all over his property at Ekely – in outbuildings, studios, and in some cases simply outdoors. Perhaps at that time one wouldn’t really have described it as a collection, but as a deceased person’s estate. Munch had no descendants who could take care of his life’s work. Accordingly, he bequeathed all the artworks still in his possession to the City of Oslo.
THE COLLECTION IN NUMBERS
The museum's collection consists of close to 28 000 artworks, divided into our four collections.
26 724 of these are works by Munch, which consists of: Close to 1200 paintings, 7050 drawings and sketches, 18 322 graphics, with 842 different motifs, and 14 sculptures.
In addition, the museum manages Munch's original photographs, printing plates and lithographic stones, many thousands of handwritten texts and letters, as well as 9830 personal belongings.
In total, the collection consist of more than 42 000 museum objects.
Today, the Museum's collection consists of more than 26,000 artworks of Edvard Munch. In addition, MUNCH takes care of thousands of other items included in Munch’s bequest: his original photographs; printing plates and lithographic stones; several thousand texts and letters; and about 10,000 of his personal belongings. Works of other artists are additional.
Currently the massive enterprise of digitizing the entire collection is underway. In connection with the move to the new museum at Bjørvika, the Museum’s collection has once again been audited and assessed. Many artworks have been photographed, and catalogue information about all the works has now been entered into a database.
We have also made available a digital archive for Edvard Munch's texts and correspondence.