The Munch Aula Paintings project (MAP)
The eleven large scale canvas paintings by Edvard Munch in the University of Oslos assembly hall have recently endured a two year conservation campaign. Conservation Studies (IAKH) is responsible for the ongoing research on their present and future preservation.
About the project
The University of Oslo celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2011. Prior to this jubilee, the University’s assembly hall, the Aula, in Oslo’s city centre, was renovated.
The interior of the Aula contains a monumental room decoration by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. The decoration consists of eleven large scale canvas paintings, painted in oil in the period between 1909 and 1916, and constitutes the only room decoration by the artist that has been preserved in its original context.
Conservation Studies at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo is responsible for the research and treatment of these paintings. The preliminary phase of the Munch Aula Painting Project (MAP) was launched in late 2005 to obtain an overview of original materials, techniques and appearances including the condition of the paintings and their history of change, in order to develop sustainable preservation strategies.
In January 2009, the conservation treatment of the paintings was initiated and by April 2011 the paintings were re-installed back in their niches after cleaning and an additional and rigid marouflage. The MAP project also includes extensive documentation and analysis of all eleven paintings, a work which will help to identify gaps in our knowledge about Munch’s painting techniques during the early 20th century.
MAP also involves ongoing research on the accumulation of dust, soot and other air-born pollutants on the artist's colours, how they change (2017 and 2018: new assessment of condition) and it includs further publishing.