Artists News Norway

Thousands of objects excavated from Munch’s summerhouse

The most interesting items found among paint tubes and rubbish are to be exhibited when the estate reopens later this year

Excavations at Munch's summerhouse in Hvitsten, Norway. Photo: © Vilde Vegem

Thousands of items that once belonged to Edvard Munch have been found during excavation work in the grounds of the Norwegian artist’s former summerhouse, near the town of Hvitsten in southern Norway. “The pieces, which include paint tubes, roof tiles and garbage, are now being registered. We plan to exhibit the most interesting ones,” says Stefan Docksjö, the managing director of Ramme Gaard, an organic farm and country estate owned by Petter Olsen, the Norwegian billionaire who sold a version of Munch’s The Scream through Sotheby’s for $120m last May. He intends to open Munch’s restored home, as well as a museum, on the vast estate later this year.

In 2009, Olsen bought the part of Ramme that once belonged to Munch and where the artist spent most of his time from 1910 until his death. “[At the time of his death], he had three homes. We already knew a lot about the ones in Oskarsstrand and Ekel, but we had to do a lot of research about Munch’s time in Ramme. Reading through Munch’s letters and the excavations were part of this research,” Docksjö says. The work also helped to pinpoint the location of Munch’s open-air studio. “We found proof of the studio when we dug up paint, paint tubes and other materials only 10cm below the ground,” he says. There are now plans to reconstruct the studio.

The part of the museum reserved for temporary shows is due to open on 23 September (until 26 January 2014) with “Edvard Munch Returns to Ramme: 100 Years after Taking Berlin”, a display of works that the artist showed in Berlin in 1913. The most interesting items found during the excavation will be shown in another part of the museum, which is due to open next year.

Objects uncovered at Munch's summerhouse include paint tubes, roof tiles and garbage
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