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Edvard Munch's $119.9 million 'The Scream' to go on view at MoMA

September 18, 2012|By Jori Finkel
  • MoMA will display Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' from 1895, which sold for $119.9 million at Sotheby's in May.
MoMA will display Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' from 1895,… (Carl Court / AFP/Getty Images )

At last, one ultra-famous artwork bought at auction by a super-rich private collector is not set to disappear from public view forever. Or even for long. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced that it soon will be displaying the 1895 version of Edvard Munch’s "The Scream," which set a record for most expensive artwork ever sold publicly when it went to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby’s in May for $119.9 million.

The work will go on display at MoMA for six months, starting Oct. 24. Its owner is believed to be private equity giant Leon Black, a trustee on the boards of both MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. MoMA has not, however, confirmed any details about the source of its loan.

Fans who think that they know 'The Scream' — celebrated as a universal symbol of psychological terror and reproduced on coffee mugs, cartoons, neckties and more — might be surprised by its relatively small scale, about 31 inches by 23 inches. (The gaping-mouth, skull-like face looms larger perhaps in the imagination.) People might also be surprised to see that this version, one of four in existence, is a drawing rather than a painting, made with crayon on cardboard.

The other three versions of "The Scream" belong to Norwegian museums. Two have been stolen but recovered.

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