Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Privately owned contemporary art gallery in Oslo



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Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Privately owned contemporary art gallery in Oslo
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cschuster's picture

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Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is a family affair... involving oilmen that are alleged war criminals.

The Astrup Fearnley houses the personal collection of edgy, if sometimes hilarious contemporary art owned by Norwegian billionaire Hans Astrup. Hans' family fortunes trace back to close relative Thomas Fearnley, businessman and son of popular 18th century art icon Thomas Fearnley. The museum itself is run by two Fearnley family funds -- one started by Hans and named in honor of his parents and the other named in honor of Thomas Fearnley the artist's grandson, Thomas "Hat Trick" Fearnley -- that merged together a few years ago to spearhead efforts to safeguard the family's legacy of collecting and displaying art.

The museum's been a staple of Oslo since 1993. Minor controversy bloomed, however, after the Astrup Fearnley's recent move to a new location The museum started taking money from oil company Lundin Petroleum. The Sweden-based company is accused of war crimes involving "hiring warlords" in Sudan (now, South Sudan) for access to oil fields. The company's actions are alleged to have indirectly lead to around 10,000 deaths. Lundin has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in support to the museum. Astrup Fearnley's got a firm position on the matter: Lundin hasn't been convicted of wrongdoing, and none of the Lundin folk in Norway that the museum corresponds with were involved in the purported Sudan debacle anyway. Well, yeah, problem solved right? 

Astrup Fearnley and Lundin Norge (the company's hand in the Norwegian economy's cookie jar) have their ties running deep. In 2015, the museum lent a helping hand to Lundin by getting artists represented throughout its collection to doll up one of the oil company's deepwater drilling rigs. Considering that the Fearnley family foundation running Hans' museum is also tied up with the Fearnley family's well-heeled shipping company (which, itself, is interlocked in the oil business), it all leaves a pretty unctuous taste in your mouth.

Can't emphasize this enough, though: The museum has some great art.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is a privately owned contemporary art gallery in Oslo in Norway. It was founded and opened to the public in 1993. The collection's main focus is the American appropriation artists from the 1980s, but it is currently developing towards the international contemporary art scene, with artists like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Tom Sachs, Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson and Cai Guo-Qiang. The museum gives 6-7 temporary exhibitions each year. Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art collaborates with international institutions, and produces exhibitions that travels worldwide. In 2012 the museum moved to two new buildings designed by Renzo Piano on Tjuvholmen.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.