Astrup Fearnley Museet – Oslo
Astrup Fearnley Museet is a privately-owned museum of contemporary art in Oslo, housed in an iconic building designed by acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Renzo Piano’s building
The museum was founded in 1993 in order to accommodate the art collection of the descendants of Norwegian shipping magnate Thomas Fearnley. In 2012, the museum moved into a new home, designed by Piano and situated on Oslo’s waterfront, in the former shipyard area of Aker Brygge.
Extending on a total floor area of 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet), the museum is part of a complex which also includes an office building and a public sculpture park.
The three interconnected buildings which form the museum’s complex – whose shapes resemble those of giant sails – are all clad in timber and covered by a huge curved glass roof aimed to provide day-lighting to the galleries underneath it; an array of footbridges interconnects the three constructions.
The larger building accommodates the Astrup Fearnley Museum’s permanent collection, while the other two house a temporary exhibition space and staff offices, respectively.
Astrup Fearnley Museum, north facade; photo © Nic Lehoux courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Collection of contemporary art
The Astrup Fearnley Museum’s collection comprises paintings, sculptures, and installations by some of the most important international contemporary artists; established in the 1960s with a particular focus on American art, the collection’s focus has been widened in the last years to include also works by renowned European, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian artists. Works in the collection include pieces by Francis Bacon, Matthew Barney, Maurizio Cattelan, Dan Colen, Fischli & Weiss, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Damien Hirst, Huang Yong Ping, Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, among others.
Program of activities
The program of events and activities the Astrup Fearnley Museum features temporary exhibitions, guided tours, educational activities, art workshops, talks, and special events.
Completely accessible to physically impaired people, the museum’s complex includes a sculpture park, meeting rooms, a book and gift shop, and a cafe.
Exterior views of the Astrup Fearnley Museum; photos © Nic Lehoux
Site plan, transverse and longitudinal sections; images © Renzo Piano Building Workshop
The permanent exhibition, installation view, foreground: Huang Yong Ping, ‘Colosseum’, 2007; photo © Nic Lehoux, courtesy of Astrup Fearnley Museet
Photos © Nic Lehoux, courtesy of Astrup Fearnley Museet
Cover image: Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, north facade; photo © Nic Lehoux