Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oslo


Marina camping in Oslo, near Bygdoy

Oslo city hall is bigger than Stockholm's, but not as well-known

The Nobel Peace Prize is given in Oslo annually, December 10

It was Gay Pride Day in Oslo

In the Norwegian Resistance Museum

German poster: "Let's us Waffen SS and you Norse/Viking guys team up to defeat Bolshevism"

Ibsen statue outside the National Theater

Vicki at The Scream, in the Munch Museet

More Munch; I like

Munch also did a Starry Sky

No harbor cruise is complete without the local aircraft carrier

Saturday we utilized our Oslo Card and, from the marina campground, subway-ed into the central city. It was Gay Pride Day in Oslo, so we took in the festivities and then proceeded to the Norwegian Resistance Museum, in the Akershus Fortress. It was impressive. Norwegian resistance was aided largely by the Brits, whose moving in, in the spring of 1940, had occasioned the German occupation. Germany got most of its iron ore from “neutral” Sweden, which Churchill had hoped to stop; it was another Gallipoli, but with a whole civilian populace to suffer for five years. There is no reference to any of this in the museum. But the rest of the exhibition was indeed impressive, despite traffic flow problems. Norwegian resistance, sabotage, refusal to support Quisling's government, etc., was real, throughout the war, with real costs. Unlike some other occupied lands.

Next we subway-ed to the Munch Museet, to indulge Vicki's icon of the last decade or more, “The Scream.” There is of course far more to Munch. I had never grasped the connection, stylistically, with Gaugin. Think of Munch as a Gaugin who never quite left town, but who stayed to interpret late 19th /early 20th Europe, at least through his own troubled lens. The museum has security equal to Fort Knox, or a US airport—something we have not seen in several months—all due to the 2004 thefts. But it is impressive in its scope and depth. There is a 52 minute interpretive film that any art historian would be proud to claim, integrating his life, artistic development, association with other European contemporaries, etc. “The Scream” is one of the world's 10 most popular artistic images, and here one can see it in proper individual and societal contexts.

We subway-ed back to the CBD, but found the National Gallery (more Munch) closed. So we walked more of the downtown area and then took the ferry around to see the sights from the harbor. It was a long day.

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