Overview : Innovative design is a hallmark of Norway, as it is elsewhere in Scandinavia, but Norwegian artists have long been groundbreakers in... more »
Innovative design is a hallmark of Norway, as it is elsewhere in Scandinavia, but Norwegian artists have long been groundbreakers in... more » contemporary painting and graphic art. With this history, it’s no wonder that Oslo should have more than its share of extraordinary art museums showing works from the Modern and Contemporary periods. Two entire museums, one a newly completed work of art itself, show off contemporary art, while a third features Modernists and their immediate predecessors.
Between these three museums are private art galleries and shops showcasing both art and design. At the end is a fourth museum that provides a meeting place for architecture and design in a re-purposed building that has won its own design awards. It’s a heady mix that explores the cutting edge with a nod to the traditions that came before. less «
Instead of exploring each of these art museums in full during the tour, consider following this route for an overview, then returning ... more »to visit at leisure those museums that pique your interest.
Plan this as an afternoon tour, as many of the sights are not open in the morning.
Avoid Mondays, when museums are closed
DogA, the last stop on the tour, is open until 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday. less «
The Astrup Fearnley Museum was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with Oslo’s Narud-Stokke-Wiig, as part of the Tjuvholmen Icon Complex, at the shore overlooking the fjord. Its three buildings flow across canals and along the harbor, its indoor and outdoor art spaces linked by bridges and a curving glass roof that echoes sailing ships with... More its steel columns and cables.
Along with adding to its architectural drama, the glass roof provides exceptional natural lighting for the art inside. Begin by admiring it from beneath, over coffee in the café, then tour the building and its art collections highlighting contemporary and modern works of Norwegian and international artists. Future plans call for an outside sculpture park, with works already commissioned from Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz West, and the team of Peter Fishli & David Weiss.
Adults: 100 NOK
Over age 65: 80 NOK
Students: 60 NOK
Children under age 18: free
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Noon-5pm
Saturday, Sunday 11am—5pm
Phone: +47 22 93 60 60Less
The construction of the Astrup Fearnley Museum has turned this former industrial waterfront area into a thriving arts district, centered in Tjuvholmen Allé. Three major art galleries cluster in this pedestrian street leading from the Astrup Fearnley Museum, through Olav Selvaags Plass to Bolette Brygge, and other galleries are worth seeking... More in the adjacent alleys.
Galleri Brandstrup (number 5), one of Norway’s leading contemporary art galleries, shows works of the country’s most innovative and influential artists, along with important international artists and new emerging talent. Most of its space is devoted to solo exhibitions.
Stolper + Friends, at number 6, shows works of a group of well-recognized contemporary international and Norwegian artists.
Hariton Pushwagner, one of Norway's most influential contemporary artists, has his own gallery at number 10, showing his works, which have been hailed as the new voice of Expressionism. Done mostly in paint and print media, Pushwagner’s prizewinning works explore the dehumanizing features of modern society, warfare and industrialization.
Other attractions along the street include boutiques and Café de Concert, a music café.
Stolper + Friends
Vary by exhibition
Galleri Brandstrup: +47 22 54 54 54
Galleri Pushwagner: +47 22 83 16 18
Stolper + Friends: +47 22 83 22 49Less
The Stenersen Museum, located in the Oslo Concert Hall complex, is home to three major private collections donated to the city along with changing exhibition of works by leading modern and contemporary artists.
Rolf E. Stenersen’s Collection of Norwegian art -- about 300 paintings and a substantial group of works on paper -- includes paintings ... Moreand prints by Edvard Munch, along with works of Norwegian Modernism Ludvig Karsten, Rolf Nesch, Kai Fjell, Olav Strømme, Erik Harry Johannessen, Bjarne Engebret. The two other collections are of more than 300 paintings and drawings by Amaldus and 150 works by Ludvig Ravensberg, many depicting scenes of everyday life in Oslo.
Tuesday, Thursday 11am—7pm
Wednesday, Friday—Sunday 11am –5pm
Phone: +47 23 49 36 00Less
Whatever you’re looking for in Norwegian craft and design, you’re likely to find it in this long-established shop. For sale here are ceramics, art glass, kitchen and tableware, jewelry and silver work, leatherwork, seasonal decorations, paper goods, watches, fabrics, clothing and accessories, all representing the best of both traditional and... More contemporary design. Along with Norwegian are works by other Scandinavian designers and some from elsewhere in Europe.
One of the attractive features for travelers is that Norway Designs carries many small items that make excellent souvenirs and gifts and are easily packable, including paper decorations, hand-bound notebooks, and jewelry. Special exhibitions are also held, highlighting one designer, style or type of work.
Monday—Wednesday, Friday 9am—5pm
Phone: +47 23 11 45 10Less
The National Gallery is one of several venues for Norway’s considerable art collections, this one concentrating on modern art through 1950 along with earlier styles, especially 19th-century Norwegian painting and sculpture. It is known for its collection of drawings and prints by Norwegian and international artists.
Works on display also include... More significant paintings by international artists, including Cezanne and Monet, and special exhibitions include works on loan from museums around the world. For many visitors, the museum’s highlight is its collection of major works by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, including The Scream.
Adults: NOK 50
Students and seniors: NOK 30
Children under 18: Free
Tuesday—Wednesday, Friday 10am—6pm
Phone: +47 21 98 20 00Less
The museum’s most elaborate interior space, The French Salon, was designed by Arnstein Arneberg in 1924, and restored and furnished by interior designer Kristin Jarmund in 2002.
Today it houses the museum’s café, where its marbled stucco walls provide a genteel backdrop for traditional afternoon teas or for lunches of local dishes... More prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients, such as Norwegian herring served with smoked mackerel, or smoked salmon sandwich with goat-cream cheese and scrambled eggs.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11am–5pm
The National Gallery
Phone: +47 21 98 22 70Less
DogA was created by Norsk Form and the Norwegian Design Council, adapting an old transformer station into space for showcasing both design and architecture, and their interplay. Hausmanns Gate 16, beside the Akerselva River, is listed by the Cultural Heritage Management Office as a group of culturally significant buildings, and this re-purposing... More guarantees their preservation. Constructed in 1898, 1917 and 1948 respectively, they were converted in 2003-2005 by architects Jensen og Skodvin Arkitekter, and have since been awarded the National Building Prize (2006), the City Prize (2007) and St. Olav’s Rose, the hallmark of Norwegian heritage (2008).
DogA provides a venue to house architecture and design exhibitions, conferences and meetings. The shop is a treasure house of books and other items of interest to those who love fine architecture and design. The complex also has a café and restaurant.
Monday & Friday 10am-5pm
In July: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday noon-5pm
Hausmanns Gate 16, Grünerløkka
Phone: +47 23 29 28 70