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

The future of the National Gallery

The National Gallery will continue to be an open and vibrant venue for the public, with a clear focus on the arts.

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).

A long-term solution

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.”

The last exhibition – for the time being

“Harald Sohlberg. Infinite Landscapes”, which continues until 13 January 2019, will be the last exhibition in the National Gallery for the time being. 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.

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