The National Gallery
The National Gallery. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

The National Gallery temporarily closed

The National Gallery closed temporarily in January of 2019, to facilitate the move to the new National Museum opening in 2020.

The works of Edvard Munch and all the other collection highlights are not available in our locations at the moment, but will be a part of the permanent exhibition in the new National Museum.

Moving to the new museum

Over 120,000 works have to be moved and safely installed in the new museum, which will open in 2020. More than 53,000 of these works are coming from the National Gallery. In order to ensure the art is safely transported, the National Gallery must be temporarily closed, since normal operations in the building would compromise safety during the removal period.  

A long-term solution

With government backing, the National Museum has begun a cooperation with Sparebankstiftelsen DNB to define the future use of the National Gallery. A restoration of the building will open up areas that are currently inaccessible to the public, such as the top floor and the basement. This will allow for new functions, with larger visitor areas, workshops and production halls. The contemporary art scene will become central to the building’s future, while the National Museum will continue to present exhibitions within its walls.  

Although cultural buildings are currently benefitting from a major investment programme, the actively creative art scene lacks facilities for display and production. As a National Museum, we are asking how we can intensify our dialogue and collaboration with artists. Accordingly, we are also exploring possibilities for cooperation with organisations such as the Young Artists Society (UKS).

Having considered a number of options for the National Gallery, the National Museum and Sparebankstiftelsen DNB are now embarking on a pilot project to explore ways to develop this plan. It is widely agreed that the building should reopen as soon as possible and that the chosen solution should have long-term viability. All renovation work will respect the history and architecture of the building while at the same time meeting contemporary requirements for universal design.

In its Political Platform for 2018, the Norwegian government resolved “to conserve the National Gallery as an art gallery associated with the National Museum, provided this does not involve undue renovation costs.”

Central artworks on the road

While the National Gallery is temporarily closed, 2019 will see 45 central works of art by artists such as Munch, Sohlberg and Hertervig travel to institutions in Norway. These include KODE, Trondheim kunstmuseum and Stavanger Art Museum. Exhibition activity will continue in the National Museum – Architecture and Villa Stenersen in 2019. 

Four touring exhibitions will be shown nationwide in 2019 and 2020: "Aase Texmon Rygh: Evighetens form", "Gerhard Munthe: Eventyrlige interiører", "Visuelle nabolag" and "Gustav Vigeland. Angsten står i sofaen". The National Museum also offers ten exhibitions to schools in Norway through the Den kulturelle skolesekken-program. 

More than 40,000 objects are also available through the National Museum digital collection

If you have any questions, please contact our director of communications, Eirik Kydland, by e-mail: eirik.kydland@nasjonalmuseet.no