5 great reasons for art lovers to visit the Oslo region this year

Exhibition highlights 2019

5 great reasons for art lovers to visit the Oslo region this year

The region of the Norwegian capital offers art experiences in many forms, all year round. At the heart of the region's vibrant art scene are the rich exhibition programmes of our many museums and galleries. 

2019 art highlights include the 150th anniversary of Norway's most famous sculptor, a high-tech presentation of the world of Van Gogh, the old Munch Museum's last hoorah, and a display of modernist highlights inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Read on to learn more and start planning your upcoming art adventure.

Visiting the Oslo Region in 2019, you may:

1. Join the celebrations of Gustav Vigeland’s 150th anniversary

Sculptor Gustav Vigeland is the man behind Norway’s most visited tourist attraction, an outdoor collection of 200 naked granite and bronze sculptures that will make you ponder a slew of existential topics.

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Vigeland’s birth, and the celebrations include a large anniversary exhibition hosted by the Vigeland Museum. The birthday boy will be at the centre, of course, but rumour has it that prominent guest sculptures from all over Europe also will be joining the party.


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2. Immerse yourself (literally!) in the world of Vincent Van Gogh

The travelling exhibition Van Gogh Alive lets you forego all preconceived ideas of traditional museum visits and explore the universe of Vincent Van Gogh in a completely new way. More than 3000 large-scale projections of Van Gogh’s works fill screens, walls, ceilings and even the floor of the exhibition space.

This summer, the exhibition stops off at the Oslo region's historic Hadeland Glass Works, where you'll also be able to enjoy plenty of other art-related activities.


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3. Follow Sonja Henie through the looking glass

Henie Onstad Art Centre is one of Scandinavia's premiere centres for modern and contemporary art. Beautifully located by the Oslo fjord, complete with an outdoor sculpture park, it makes for a wonderful art outing.

The centre’s ongoing 50th anniversary exhibition Turn and Face the Strange, shows you highlights from its permanent collection by Picasso, Miró, Ernst, Dubuffet, Matisse and many others. The works are playfully presented and bound together by references to Alice in Wonderland, which the centre’s co-founder Sonja Henie famously interpreted in the movie My Lucky Star.

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4. Bid farewell to the old Munch Museum

The Oslo region is the home turf of Edvard Munch, and the place to visit if you'd like to explore the life and works of the world-famous painter. A brand new home for Munch’s art will open its doors here in 2020. The soon-to-be former Munch Museum hosts its last full-scale exhibition, aptly named Exit!, this summer.

Do you know what really happened when Scream and Madonna were stolen from the museum in 1994? Now’s your chance to find out! Exit! will serve you highlights and tidbits from the museum's exiting history (and yes, the stolen works were later returned and are included in the exhibition).

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5. Explore one of Norway's great contemporary painters

If you'd like to explore what's going on in contemporary Norwegian art, journey down to Vestfold and Haugar Vestfold Art Museum

This summer, the museum shows a large retrospective with paintings by Sverre Bjertnæs (b. 1976), an artist noted for his poetic approach to existential topics, which springs out from an autobiographical foundation. The exhibition features Bjertnæs' works from the early 1990s – when he became a student of Odd Nerdrum at age 16 – to his recent paintings, installations and film productions.


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Getting here

Getting to the Oslo region is easy.

Oslo Airport, with over 200 international flights a day, is the main gateway to the region. It is situated just north of Oslo, and is easily accessible from Oslo city centre by Flytoget Airport Express Train.