For many years, The National Gallery was an art collection without a permanent exhibition space. The National Gallery - at that time known as the State Art Museum - had no permanent address until 1880, when it moved into the middle section of today's National Gallery building. This building was later extended with a southern wing (1904-1907) and a northern wing (1918-1924) in order to accommodate the growing collection, a lecture hall and a library.Collection
Throughout its long history, The National Gallery has played a central role in the building of the nation and in the mediation of Norwegian art history. Since its modest start in life, the main focus of both The National Gallery's collection and exhibition policy has been Norwegian art. Nevertheless, thanks to the Gallery's friendship society (Nasjonalgalleriets venneforening), and to private donations, The National Gallery has also been able to acquire international art of a very high standard - notably, work by the French Impressionists. The greatest attraction however, has been the early, major works by Edvard Munch, such as "The Scream and Madonna".Historical and contemporary art
Today the building houses a permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions - of both historical art and contemporary art. In the research room, the public can view prints and drawings that are not on general display. In the research room, staff are also available to help visitors with information about privately-owned artwork.