Edvard Munchs photography

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) was one of the first artists to take “selfies.” He pursued photography as an experimental medium and himself as an experimental subject. "The experimental self. Edvard Munch's photography" presentes a wide selection of photographs and films by Munch. 

“I have an old camera with which I have taken countless pictures of myself, often with amazing results (…) Some day when I am old, and I have nothing better to do than write my autobiography, all my self-portraits will see the light of day again.”
Edvard Munch, 1930

An experimental photographer 

In February 1902, Munch purchased his first camera. An amateur, he did not exhibit his photographs. He explored the dynamics of layered imagery; unexpected areas of blank, disunified, or undefined form; and shadows that replace living bodies. These effects mirrored his formal strategies in painting and graphic works. He also experimented with film. Munch’s fascination with the formal effects of time and motion in his photography are played out with humor and deliberation in his few forays into motion pictures. The results are poetic representations of Munch himself and his immediate surroundings.

Two periods of photography 

Munch’s photographs have been dated to two periods. Munch took up photography in 1902, the year in which he and his lover Tulla Larsen ended a multi-year relationship with a pistol shot that mutilated one of the artist’s fingers. This event, and an accelerated career, triggered a period of increasing emotional turmoil that culminated in a rest cure in the private Copenhagen clinic of Dr. Daniel Jacobson in 1908-1909.   

The second period of activity, from 1927 into the mid-1930s, was bracketed by triumphant retrospective exhibitions in Berlin and Oslo and by a hemorrhage in Munch’s right eye, temporarily impairing his vision.  This was also the time that Munch tried his hand at home movies. 

Two exhibitions on Munch this autumn

The exhibition is realized as a collaboration with the Munch Museum and The American-Scandinavian Foundation and curated by the American Munch researcher Patricia Berman. 

The photo exhibition opens together with the exhibition “Edvard Munch. There are worlds inside us”, which is at display in the KODE Museum’s Stenersen building, KODE 2. Read more about that exhibition here 

The exhibitions will be at display in KODE 2 and KODE 3 until January 19th 2020. 

Extended Opening hours – Munch 

KODE 2 – "There are Worlds Whitin Us" 
Monday closed
Tuesday–Friday 11.00–20.00
Saturday–Sunday 11.00–20.00

KODE 3 – "Edvard Munch's Photography"
Monday closed
Tues, Wedn, Frid: 11.00–16.00
Thursday: 11.00–20.00
Saturday–Sunday 11.00–17.00

Last opening day: Sunday 19 January.



  • 6 Sep 2019 to 19 Jan 2020
  • Kode 3
  • 130,- / 90,- / 0,- *

* Adults: NOK 130, Students: NOK 90, Bergen Card: NOK 90, Free admission for children and KODE members. The ticket gives admission to all exhibitions at KODE for two days