Allow at least half a day to explore the full wonders of Bergen’s vast art museum.
Hosted in a series of four buildings alongside the lake known as Lille Lungegårdsvannet, Bergen Art Museum (KODE) is one of Norway’s biggest and best. Planning a visit here is essential especially if your time is limited, as you could easily miss some of the museum’s main attractions.
KODE 4: The core of the collection
Head to KODE 4 at the far end of the lake (walking from Bryggen) to start your visit with the biggest part of the collection. International modern art from the likes of Diego Rivera and Joan Miró sit alongside selected works from Pablo Picasso. The development of the Bergen Avant Garde scene from 1966 to 1985 is explored, along with historical works stretching back to the 14th Century. An entire wing is devoted to the story and work of Nikolai Astrup. If you’re travelling with kids, be sure to check out the children’s section on the ground floor.
KODE 3: Rasmus Meyer collection
In 1917 Rasmus Meyer’s children donated their father’s collection of art and historical furniture to the city. He was a particular fan of Edvard Munch, so some of the artist’s major works feature heavily in this celebration of the Golden Age of Norwegian art. The collection also features highlights from landscape specialist J.C. Dahl.
KODE 2: Temporary exhibitions
The spectacular thread works of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota will move into KODE 2 at the end of October 2017. Shiota’s intricate works in thread have been described as “drawing in the air”, and often include everyday objects such as boats, beds and keys. She also makes use of photographs and videos in many of her installations.
KODE 1: Gold, silver, and the Queen
The building dedicated to fine craft and design reopened in May 2017 with an exhibition devoted to HM Queen Sonja of Norway. The exhibition tells a story about the meaning of art in people’s lives, and in particular in the life of the Norwegian Queen. The Queen has been an enthusiastic promoter of Norwegian art and design and since the 1990s has produced her own works in the fields of printmaking and ceramics.
Where to eat
KODE 2 is home to Smarkverket, one of Bergen’s best places for a light lunch. The menu includes mussels, ciabattas, jacket potatoes and more. For a more formal dining experience, head to Lysverket at KODE 4. Here you’ll find “neo-fjordic” cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients from western Norway. By evening, Lysverket transforms into a popular meeting place with DJs and a full bar.
For more information, check out KODE Bergen.