New York Times. Jan 25, 1944.
Edvard Munch; 80, Norwegian Artist
A Founder of the Expressionist School Is Dead Recluse Rarely Sold Paintings
The controlled Oslo radio said this
afternoon that Edvard Munch, Norways most distinguished painter, had died
at the age of 80. The domestic broadcast, reported by United States Government
monitor, gave no further details.
Mr. Munch, regarded as a founder of the modern, expressionistic school of painting, had great influence throughout Europe. The largest collection of his work shown in the United States was exhibited two months ago in Chicago.
In the winter of 1937 Edvard Munch was persuaded, with great difficulty, to exhibit some of his work in London. Never before had he shown his pictures abroad, and for many years he refused to exhibit or sell even in Norway.
He lived the life of a recluse in a large country house of only two residential rooms, the rest of the building being given over to workshops and storerooms filled with packing cases and pictures that he declined to sell.
The old artist painted in a roofless barn, with long grass, instead of a floor, underfoot. Only two persons were allowed to intrude upon him; one a shipping agent, the other Pola Gaugin, son of the famous painter. Although old and ill Munch painted all the time. He never answered letters. Piles of correspondence lay heaped on a desk.
To the London exhibition of 1937 he sent only four paintings. One of them was "The Sick Girl," done in 1885, when the artist was ranked among the moderns. At home remained his "Life" frieze, his masterpiece, on which he labored forty years, and the series entitled "Works."