From Munch to Vigeland
Friday and Saturday were devoted to Norway's finest - the most famous artist, Edvard Munch, and the less well known but equally impressive sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. My knowledge of Munch was broadened beyond the Scream and Starry Night to a vast and diverse collection of paintings and other media examples of his work. At the entry, a series of short films about his life set a context for his work that made our gallery tour even more enjoyable. From there we walked across a lovely park by the Natural History Museum to find our destination at the DOGA, the Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture, closed for Pentecost. We continued our walk into Grunerlokka only to discover that also meant most stores, including the design store, Norway Says, would be closed as well. Our design pursuit instead became a fitness and sightseeing walk, through some interesting ethic neighborhoods. We did find one business that was universally open on Pentecost, the neighborhood frizor, or barber, where I could have gotten a close clip along with all the young boys in anticipation of the holiday weekend.
We knew our plans for the next day would be safe since most of the Vigeland sculptures are outdoors in Frogner Park. As we sat with our lattes in a cafe next to the park, we saw people arriving with blankets, chairs and even small portable grills, obviously prepared to spend the day. By the time we entered to find the famous sculptures, the place was teeming with families at the water park and sunbathers everywhere on the grass. Though we didn't find the main gate with the only signs telling where things were located, our meandering walk led us to happily discover what we had come for all on our own. That included a lovely garden restaurant on a shaded veranda overlooking the Frogner ponds and the unexpectedly open, even on Pentacost, Vigeland Museum, the original home and studios of the sculptor now housing the remainder of his work.
Here's a mix of photos from the two days.