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Munch Museum in Oslo Creates Online Archive of Artist’s Drawings

More than 7,600 of Edvard Munch’s drawings are now accessible online. The Munch Museum in Oslo began digitizing the artist’s works on paper three years ago in order to make works with expired copyrights available to the public for free. The pieces range from studies for Munch’s famous painting The Scream, 1893, to his much lesser known compositions.

Philip Hook, the senior Impressionist and modern art specialist at Sotheby’s, where a pastel version of The Scream, produced in 1895, sold for $120 million, told the Art Newspaper that “Munch’s fame rests disproportionately on the global familiarity of a single image. Opening up access to the less well-known parts of his oeuvre is important for a fuller understanding of this remarkable artist.”

More than 90 percent of the drawings included in the database belong to the museum. The rest are from other public and private collections. According to the institution’s website, “Munch’s drawings are the very foundation of his art. He drew incessantly and almost anywhere: while travelling, in cafés, at cabarets, outdoors, at home and—obviously—in his studio.”