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Stuart Messham
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Located on Oslo’s waterfront, Norway’s new National Museum is now open to the public and it’s spectacular in size, scope and Scandinavian sophistication.

Officially called the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, it’s the largest art museum in the Nordics with a total area of 54,600 square metres and housing 6,500 works across 86 exhibition rooms.

As well as an enviable plethora of full-time works, the building includes a dazzling space for temporary exhibitions – the Light Hall situated on the roof – which has walls made from translucent marble.

It’s a design statement that figuratively and literally tops off a remarkable build.


There's lots of good stuff inside, too.

Chronologically arranged, the museum shows in broad outline the history of the visual arts, design and crafts in Norway – which should please Scandi style aficionados.

Elsewhere, one of the main attractions is the museum’s iconic collection of works by Edvard Munch, including his famous “The Scream”. Other notable works include paintings by Pablo Picasso and an array of other influential 20th century artists, such as Henri Matisse and Anna-Eva Bergman.

There is also a rather wonderful room dedicated to renowned architect Sverre Fehn and permanent installations by Per Inge Bjørlo and Ilya Kabakov.


When you're done probing the gallery's fineries, you can refresh on the large open-air roof terrace, take five in a café that faces the central courtyard and commemorate your visit in the museum's shop ensconced inside an existing 19th-century building.

It's a vast, wondrous place that should be added to any Oslo itinerary whether you're travelling for business or pleasure.


“Norway now has a modern museum with classic qualities,” says its director, Karin Hindsbo. “It enables us to show more of the collection than ever before, with spaces for temporary exhibitions of entirely new formats on an international scale.”

“Our vision is to make art accessible to each and every person, and to reflect our times and the society in which we live,” she continues. “If we succeed in doing this, we believe that the museum could be the most important meeting place in society.”



Oslo is a remarkable place mad even more spectaculr by the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. Book now with Scandinavian Airlines.