80, Norwegian Artist
A Founder of the Expressionist
School Is Dead
Recluse Rarely Sold Paintings
Oslo radio said this afternoon that Edvard Munch, Norways
most distinguished painter, had died at the age of 80. The domestic
broadcast, reported by United States Government monitor, gave
no further details.
Mr. Munch, regarded as a founder of the modern, expressionistic
school of painting, had great influence throughout Europe. The
largest collection of his work shown in the United States was
exhibited two months ago in Chicago.
In the winter of 1937 Edvard Munch was persuaded, with great difficulty,
to exhibit some of his work in London. Never before had he shown
his pictures abroad, and for many years he refused to exhibit
or sell even in Norway.
He lived the life of a recluse in a large country house of only
two residential rooms, the rest of the building being given over
to workshops and storerooms filled with packing cases and pictures
that he declined to sell.
The old artist painted in a roofless barn, with long grass, instead
of a floor, underfoot. Only two persons were allowed to intrude
upon him; one a shipping agent, the other Pola Gaugin, son of
the famous painter. Although old and ill Munch painted all the
time. He never answered letters. Piles of correspondence lay heaped
on a desk.
To the London exhibition of 1937 he sent only four paintings.
One of them was "The Sick Girl," done in 1885, when
the artist was ranked among the moderns. At home remained his
"Life" frieze, his masterpiece, on which he labored
forty years, and the series entitled "Works."
New York Times. Jan 25, 1944.
text black on white