About the National Museum
The National Museum’s mandate is to develop, conserve, research, make available and promote public knowledge about Norway’s biggest collection of art, architecture and design.
The museum presents permanent exhibitions of objects from its collection, and temporary exhibitions of loaned and own material. The museum’s venues in Oslo are the National Museum, the National Museum – Architecture and Villa Stenersen. The National Gallery closed temporarily on 13 January 2019. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design has been closed since 16 October 2016. The Museum of Contemporary Art closed on 3 September 2017. The exhibition programme also includes exhibitions that tour at home and abroad.
When it was created in 1837, Norway’s first public art museum was named the National Museum. For a brief period it was known as the Norwegian State Central Museum of Fine Art, before being renamed the National Gallery. The 2003 merger of the National Gallery, the Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, and the Museum of Contemporary Art was the occasion for a new title: the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. The new name indicates an expanded field of operation while also pointing back to the museum’s origins.
A new museum is born
The first statutory board meeting of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design was held on 11 February 2003. On 1 July of the same year, the museum was established as a foundation. With that, the merger was sealed, and work could begin on reshaping the four constitutive institutions into a single museum with various departments. In 2005, the National Museum moved its staff to a new administration building at Kristian Augusts gate 23, and on 1 July 2005, National Touring Exhibitions, Norway, was also assimilated into the museum.
The museum offers a range of exhibitions showing Norwegian and international art, architecture and design, both at its venues in Oslo and elsewhere in Norway in conjunction with its nationwide touring programme, and abroad.
The museum’s objectives are:
to make art accessible to each and everyone.
to reflect society and the era in which we live.
The new National Museum
The new National Museum opened in Oslo in 2022. The new museum is a place for new ideas, inspiration and significant cultural experiences. Large new exhibition spaces allows the National Museum to display more of its collection than ever before.
In the new permanent exhibition, older and modern art, architecture, design, crafts and contemporary art is presented under one roof, highlighting new connections.
The architectural competition for the new museum building was won by the firm Kleihues + Schuwerk for its forum artis proposal.