Edvard Munchs eiendom Ekely
Foto: Væring - Munch-museets fotoarkiv

History

In 1916 Munch purchased the 45 acre property on Ekely - a former nursery. It contained, besides greenhouses which Munch used to cultivation of fruits and vegetables, a Swiss villa from the 1870s with orchard and several outbuildings. Over the years Munch putted up several small workshops and studios around the grounds.

The need for more air and space led Munch, in 1929 to build the so-called Winter studio in Art Deco style with links to modern classicism, designed by his friend and contemporary big architect Henrik Bull. This building is the only one who currently remain, besides a group of trees that was Munch's gazebo. Edvard Munch's last residence was, unfortunately, and after much uproar, demolished in 1960.

"At the tables and chairs were paints, brushes, canvases and color tubes. At the piano was a pile of letters and press, and in the basement and the attic was the blade, hand presses, copper plates and stone. The whole Ekely was one big mess ... ..." , writes Munch's friend and mentor Rolf Stenersen.

At his death in 1944 Edvard Munch bequeathed the "mess" to Oslo, a collection of 1,027 paintings, six sculptures, 4,442 drawings and watercolors, and a circulation of approx. 15,000 prints.

The studio went through an extensive renovation in 1991 by the Oslo Rotary Club. The building was then in decay.

Self-portrait by the Arbour, Ekely 1942
© Munch-museet (Andersen/de Jong) (Munch-museet/Munch-Ellingsen gruppen/BONO 2010

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