Munch Scream Will Appear at MoMA, Courtesy of Mystery Owner


Edvard Munch’s pastel The Scream (1895), currently the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, will appear at New York’s Museum of Modern Art Oct. 24, 2012-Apr. 29, 2013. The work will go on public display for the first time in New York on the museum’s fifth floor, and will be accompanied by several prints by the artist.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, rumor has it that the buyer is Leon Black, a financier whose fortune Forbes estimates to be in excess of $3.4 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports that Black’s art collection is estimated to be worth $750 million and includes works by Manet, Cézanne, van Gogh and Picasso, in addition to a Raphael chalk drawing, Head of a Muse, which, when he bought it from Christie’s 2009 auction for $47.6 million, set a new record for a work on paper.  Black currently sits on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Munch’s work has long captured the popular imagination. Other examples of The Scream (there are three others, all residing in Norwegian museums) have been stolen twice, for the first time in 1994 and then again in 2004. Both works were recovered shortly after being stolen, and the New York Times reports that MoMA is considering strict security precautions to safeguard the pastel, including potentially issuing timed tickets to see the coveted piece.