Edvard Munch prints explore spiritualist color theories at the National Gallery of Art
In the second half of the 19th century, advances in physics, electromagnetic radiation theory, and the optical sciences provoked new thought about the physical as well as the spiritual worlds. Aspects of that thought are revealed in Edvard Munch: Color in Context, an exhibition of 21 prints that considers the choice, combinations, and meaning of color in light of spiritualist principles. Informed by popular manuals that explained the science of color and by theosophical writings on the visual and physical power of color, Edvard Munch (1863–1944) created works that are not just strikingly personal but also are charged with specific associations. Edvard Munch will be on view in the West Building from September 3, 2017, through January 28, 2018. The majority of the prints in the exhibition come from the Epstein Family Collection, the largest and finest gathering of the artist’s graphic work outside of his native Norway. Their holdings are being steadily donated to the Gallery.