Both The Scream and Madonna are dimly lit, but I realized that what is being displayed here is not Munch’s The Scream, but rather the image of “Munch’s The Scream”. People take photos of it, though you will find much, much better images on-line than you can make yourself. What’s more interesting to me is that people take photos of each other, and themselves, in front of The Scream. Jeff from LA complained loudly about this to his partner, enabling me to engage them both in conversation. It’s very clear to him that there are right ways and wrong ways to be a tourist. I find all of this so very interesting.
Madonna, by the way, while given equal display by the museum gets next to no attention from visitors. I spoke to Madonna’s guard and he says it is always like that, all day every day. He says the guards take turns with locations. I told him that was good, because otherwise he’d be standing here all alone all the time. He smiled.
The experience of the theft and recovery of the works is very much a subject, as in fact is the Museum itself. There are numerous displays referencing the museum’s history. One has the feeling that the Munch Museum is as much about the phenomenon of the Munch Museum as it is about Munch’s art.