The 1895 pastel version of Edvard Munch's The Scream that was sold at auction for $119.9 million in May will get its New York museum debut at the Museum of Modern Art next month. This morning, the MoMA announced that the iconic image will go on display for six months, starting on October 24. MoMA director Glenn Lowery said, "The Scream has garnered worldwide attention for its stark portrayal of the human condition. For the Museum's visitors, this will be a rare opportunity to see this extraordinary work of art."
This version of "The Scream" is the only one in private hands—the others are in Norwegian museums—and the collector is lending it to the museum. It's also one of two pastel versions, but it's believed this one is the "most vibrant." Sotheby's had estimated the piece at $80 million, but bidding was heated for the image. The collector's identity is still a mystery, but he/she purchased it through the Sotheby's specialist who usually represents American buyers.
Chief curator of painting and sculpture Ann Temkin said, "The startling power of Munch's original work endures almost despite the image's present-day ubiquity. The visual subtlety and complexity of this composition can't be summed up in a cliché." A London dealer had told the NY Times, "The Scream is more than a painting, it’s a symbol of psychology as it anticipates the 20th-century traumas of mankind."