Edvard Munch (1863–1944) challenged his contemporaries with the radical modernity of his paintings, especially in Berlin, where the Norwegian Symbolist exerted a big influence around the turn of the century. The exhibition “Magic of the North” is a partnership with the MUNCH in Oslo. It tells the story of Edvard Munch and Berlin, illustrated by paintings, prints and photographs.
The German capital was in the grip of a fervour for all things Nordic. Even the conservative Association of Berlin Artists invited the young artist, as yet unknown, to put on a solo exhibition in 1892. Viewers were shocked by the bright colours and perceived the paintings as sketchy. The show was forced to close shortly after opening. Munch’s works polarised people. The artist delighted in this public attention. He moved to the Spree, living and working in the city again and again between 1892 and 1908. The “Munch Affair”, as the press sardonically labelled the scandal, is seen as the beginning of Modernism in Berlin.
With about 60 exhibitions between 1892 and 1933, Berlin proved to be one of the most important European hotspots in Munch’s career. Here he found artists, gallery owners, intellectuals and collectors to promote his work.
On the banks of the Spree, Munch’s works were not just the parting shot for modern art. They also transformed conventional thinking about the “magic of the North” (Stefan Zweig). Romantic and naturalist notions of fjord landscapes gave way to the psychological density of Munch’s visual cosmos. During the Nazi dictatorship from 1933, the painter was at first celebrated by cultural politicians as a “great Nordic artist”, only to become an early victim of the defamatory campaign against “degenerate” art.
The exhibition embraces about 80 works by Edvard Munch. They are joined by the works of other artists, such as Walter Leistikow and Akseli Gallen-Kallela, who set their stamp in the late 19th century on how Berlin imagined the North and on the Modernist art world in the city.
- All the explanatory exhibition texts are available in German and English.
- An audio guide with detailed audio descriptions is available free in German and English. The audio guide commentaries can be downloaded free from a browser to play later on your smart phone.
- Inductive neck loops can be borrowed free to enhance the sound quality of your audio tour.
- The exhibition contains no information in Easy German.
- The exhibition contains no information in German Sign Language.
- Some outreach events are held in or with German Sign Language.
- Group tours may be supported by a tour guide system. Inductive neck loops can be borrowed free to enhance the sound quality of your tour.
- There is step-free access to the exhibition.
- Most of the exhibits and explanatory texts can be seen and read from a seated position. The standard height of the display cases is 78 cm and they can be lowered.
- There are seatings. Wheelchairs and folding stools can be borrowed free of charge from the cloakroom.
- To protect the works in the exhibition limited use is made of bright illumination. Most of the exhibition texts are designed with strong contrast.
- All the panel texts are available as a large-print brochure that you will find at the entrance to the exhibition.
- The exhibition contains no tactile floor guidance and no touch models.
- Light barriers are in place to protect the artworks. They trigger an acoustic signal if visitors come too close. A floor marking indicates the minimum distance to keep.
Do you have any other questions about accessibility? Andreas Krüger, officer accessibility and inclusion, will be happy to answer them via e-mail email@example.com or via phone +49 (0)30-789 02-832.
Trailer: Edvard Munch
This exhibition enjoys the joint patronage of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and His Majesty King Harald V of Norway.
With decisive support from
Opening during Berlin Art Week.
From 18 November 2023 until 1 April 2024, the Museum Barberini in Potsdam will be showing “Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth”