National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

Our next to last stop of the day was the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.  This was a must stop on the list since I needed to see a few paintings for my list!

The museum (like all the others) accepted the Oslo card, so we were really going in and out quite quickly.  One piece I really liked about this museum -- the walls are color coated.  Each color of the four corresponds to a painting periods.  It made it really easy to quickly find the section of the museum we were looking for!

I really wanted to see the Edvard Munch paintings.  His paintings were just recently re-displayed at the museum.  I believe it has been loaned out while the museum was under construction.  It was loaned to el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, so I was surprised when I was there in June to see quite a bit of The Scream in the gift shop.  Our main objective in the museum was to see this!

What a classic well-known painting!  I unfortunately did not get a picture of Dance of Life or Girls on a bridge.  

I was also really excited to see these other paintings.  Norwegian artists had a particular focus on nature and natural scenes.  I won't describe it in detail -- I actually took a picture of the description in the museum since I found it so interesting.  

I wish the museum had a print of this painting within the genre.  I found the scene so evokative of our trip to Norway.

Unfortunately, I do not think the picture captures the texture and colors in the sunset particularly well.  I also really liked this similar painting:

We really enjoyed our (brief) stop at the National Museum in Oslo!  

Time in museum: 20 minutes
Times visited: 1
Overall: A-


Norway's Resistance Museum

After visiting the Nobel Peace Center, we walked over to Norway's Resistance Museum, which is on the port as well.  I was intrigued by the museum and the history behind an occupied territory.

The museum is in the Akershus Fortress.  

The museum was much bigger than we expected.  It is organized chronologically and really walks through the lead-up to World War II and through to the end of the war.  The content was really interesting.  It was a nice lead in from the Nobel Peace Center with its feature exhibit; this almost starts where that left off.  Norway resisted the German invasion.  Norway was at an interesting position as it is disconnected from mainland Europe and fairly close to the UK.  It is believed that Hitler was fairly paranoid about an invasion via Norway to mainland Europe.  With Sweden maintaining its neutrality throughout the war, it also offered an easy "out" for all protesters in Norway.  

I think the museum painted an extremely optimistic picture of the engagement and sentiment within Norway during the occupation of Norway.  That being said, it was really interesting to see how Norwegians protested actively and worked against the occupation.  

I wish the exhibits had been more edited.  It was a lot of content, and I am not sure all of it was value-add.  

Overall though great content and examples.  It was very well laid out and told a good story.

Time in museum: 45 minutes
Times visited: 1
Overall: B+


Nobel Peace Center

We were really excited to see the Nobel Peace Center.  The center is in the middle of downtown Oslo, just off the harbor.  

The center is focused on the mission of the Nobel Peace Prize.  It had a variety of exhibits.  The feature exhibit currently is The Dangerous Prize, which tells the story of the 1935 Nobel Prize winner, Carl von Ossietzky.  He was a German journalist who was imprisoned by Hitler for treason.  He was nominated for 1934, but the committee could not make a final decision.  No winner was announced for 1934.  It was a rare nomination (the first time someone convicted of treason won).  Once he won, there was also a concern about how this could impact his imprisonment.  The Norwegian royal family did not attend the 1935 award ceremony and distanced themselves from that year's ceremony to avoid provoking the German state.  German newspapers were forbidden from mentioning the Nobel peace prize win.  von Ossietzky died shortly after he won the prize from TB that he contracted in the camp in 1938.  

We then headed upstairs where we learned about the recent Nobel Prize winners, the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.  This was awarded to the leaders of a coalition that guided Tunisia through the first democratic election the country had ever experienced following the Jasmine Revolution in 2011.  

We also viewed the gallery of winners.  It was quite a magical experience.  It is interactive and allows you to view the back story of each winner.  It is very hard to put it into words.

I will also mention that the gift shop was fantastic.  It had really thoughtful items that support the mission of the Nobel Prize.

A very thoughtful museum.

Time in museum: 2 hrs
Times visited: 1
Overall: A-

Historical Museum

Our last and final stop on our marathon day was to the Historical Museum in downtown Oslo.  It is right behind the art museum. 

We had our Oslo card, so we were able to get in free.  I am disappointed to say it was one of our least favorite museums of the trip (and definitely of the day).  

The museum has a great collection.  What it lacks is editing and context.  It was very challenging to know where to look or what were the top items within the collection.  The collection has the only known remaining viking helmet.  Unfortunately, it does not have the horns like all the stereotypes!

I also do NOT know what these were.  I think they were supposed to be pictorial representations of Norwegian gods.  As you can see from the cabinets, they had a lot of objectives in them, but very difficult to differentiate and value each one.

It did have one redeeming quality though: a great gift shop (the reason this is a "C+," not a "C").  I ended up getting a great book about the Norwegian ships meets Donald Duck meets historical context...seriously.  

Time in museum: 30 minutes
Times visited: 1
Overall: C+