It’s always heartening to see an art historical institution take a big step into the modern era. This month, the Munch Museum in Oslo made some 7,600 of Edvard Munch’s drawings available online, including the Museum’s entire holdings, as well as drawings from other public and private collections. The online catalogue, free to all, represents a tremendous feat of logistics, and features drawings that go back as far as the artist’s childhood, sketchbooks, studies of tools, coins, and keys that demonstrate Munch’s dedication as a disciplined draftsman, and watercolors of buildings that were some of the first bodies of work developed by the artist in his youth. Overall, the debut of the catalogue represents a massive effort on the part of the Museum, which dedicated to the life and work of the Symbolist painter.
“More than 90% of the drawings are in the museum’s own collection,” said Magne Bruteig, Senior Curator for Prints and Drawings, in an email interview with Hyperallergic. “All of these had basic registrations, but they were of course carried from the storage and given a new inspection and an extended registration. Many privately owned drawings had previously been delivered to the museum for registration, some new drawings were brought to us, some were inspected by us in other collections — for drawings abroad we had to rely on the registrations made by the owners.”
Image courtesy of The Munch Museum.