KODE Art Museums are Bergen's public museums for arts and crafts, which include four buildings along Lille Lungegårdsvann in the city centre.

KODE represents the merger of several Bergen art institutions under one name and one administration. Following the merger, KODE became one of the most comprehensive art museums in the Nordic region, with around 50,000 objects within visual arts, sculptures, installations, crafts, interior and design. Rasmus Meyer's collections are a key part of the museums' many collections, which contain significant works by most big names in Norwegian art, such as Munch, Dahl, Backer, Tidemand, Krogh and Astrup. This means that KODE can offer a thorough introduction to Norwegian art history, and you can safely set aside an entire day to explore the many art treasures.

photo by Wolfmann (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Highlights of KODE

KODE boasts Norway's second largest art collection, surpassed only by the National Museum in Oslo. The collections include the world's third largest collection of works by Edvard Munch, and together with the major institutions in Oslo, are must-see place for Munch lovers. His most important motifs, especially the so-called Livsfrisen, are well represented here. After seeing KODE's Munch collection, you will have grasped the basic concept of Munch's work.

Perhaps even more interesting are the more local greats: the painters J.C. Dahl and Nicolai Astrup. Bergenseren J.C. Dahl was Norway's first internationally known painter, and his atmospheric, romantic depictions of wild western nature are very distinctive. They were painted at a time when Norwegian nature was still distant and exotic to people on the continent, and it's easy to understand why he attracted so much attention when you see his dramatic reproductions of beautiful landscapes under heavy clouds and in the turbulent weather typical of Western Norway. Western nature was a main theme also for Nikolai Astrup, and the comparison with J.C. Dahl is one of many exciting approaches to his art. Astrup's saturated colors, coarser lines and foregrounds with portraits of human life create warmth and intimacy. J.C. Dahl's and Astrup's visions are a stimulating must-see both for those who intend to explore Western Norway and for those who know the region well and want to see it with fresh eyes.

KODE 1 is also known for the so-called Sølvskatten. This is an exhibition of goldsmith art from Bergen throughout 500 years, which is of a high international standard and shows an astonishing variety and quality in a distinctive display shaped like a "cut" of glass showcases.

photo by Wolfmann (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Worth knowing about KODE

Three of the four KODE buildings at Lille Lungegårdsvann were at one time individual museums, while the fourth was the administration building for Bergen Lightworks until it was converted into an art museum in 2001.

KODE 1 is part of the building known as Permanenten, and also features craft and design exhbitions. KODE 2 shows temporary exhibitions and the collection of contemporary art, and also houses the museum shop, a bookstore and the café Smakverket. KODE 3 contains collections of paintings from the Norwegian Golden Age, with Astrup and Munch. KODE 4 shows national and international art from the 15th century until present day alongside changing exhibitions.

Visitors can buy a joint ticket with entry to all of KODE's art museums for two consecutive days. The museums offer two guided tours every Sunday. These are led by art historians and are open to anyone who is interested. During the peak season, tours are held daily and also in English Separate guided tours can also be arranged for children and families. KODE 4 has a separate area called KunstLab, specially adapted for children and young people, where free art workshops are arranged for families with children at weekends. These are open to everyone at any time, and you can join in the activities based around the day's theme. There is also a reading corner with art literature, as well as tables and cartoons for those who feel inspired.

KODE Art Museums in Bergen

Location: Rasmus Meyers allé 3, 7 and 9, 5015 Bergen, Norway

Open: Opening hours in winter season: 15 September – 14 May KODE 1 and 2: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11.00-16.00. Thursday: 11.00-20.00. Saturday and Sunday: 11.00-17.00. KODE 3 Tuesday-Friday: 11.00-16.00. Saturday and Sunday: 11.00-17.00. KODE 4: closed until further notrice, or as KODE 1 and 2

Phone: +47 53 00 97 04