Edvard Munch died in 1944 at Ekely, Oslo. He became rich and famous, just the artist his aunt Karen belived him to be.


"An artist always needs a woman who will stand behind him at all times, while pointing the way forward."


Edvard Munch



Fredrikstad has a secret and an artistic connection that is not widely known. Laura Cathrine Bjølstad was born here, in Storgaten 26, on May 10th 1837. She would marry Christian Munch in Glemmen Church and in 1863 give birth to one of the world´s greatest artists, Edvard Munch. A few years after the birth of Laura Cathrine her sister Karen Bjølstad came into the world. This girl would become Edvard Munch´s beloved "Aunt Karen", an unusual and creative woman who saw and understood the extraordinary talent in her nephew. 


2013 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch. To mark the occasion the organisation Munchs Mødre 2013 will unveil the monument Munchs Mødre in Fredrikstad at the 25. of October 2013 (Karen Bjølstads birthday). A monument to the two women who were closest to him, his mother Laura Cathrine and his "Aunt Karen". The monument is also intended as a celebration of all the women who "stand behind" and "point the way forward".  A symbol of all the women who selflessly and invisibly devote themselves to supporting those around them. We all know a few of them.


The sculptress Birthe Marie Løveid has created the monument of the two women which will symbolize not only their story, but also all the sacrifices that women have made. The name of the monument will be MUNCHS MØDRE - Munchs two mothers. 


Would you like to contribute to making these "forgotten women" more visible? You can choose to make a contribution either anonymously or with your full name to bank DnB NOR account no.: 


IBAN NO58 1503 1261 004

Swift code: DNBANOKKxxx 


I hope you will find this interesting and invest in and own a part of the monument that will illuminate the part these women have played in our history and symbolize the role played by all women who "stand behind" and "point forward".





(Foto: Munch-museet)


Edvard Munch´s connections to Østfold


Laura Cathrine Munch (née Bjølstad), Edvard Munch´s mother.

Born in Storgaten 26 in Fredrikstad May 10th 1837.

Died in 1868, leaving behind her husband and five children.


Laura Cathrine Bjølstad & Christian Munch were joined in marriage in Glemminge (Glemmen) Church October 15th 1861.


"Aunt Karen"

Karen Bjølstad, Edvard Munch´s aunt. Born in Storgaten 26 in Fredrikstad October 25th 1839.

On the death of her sister Laura Cathrine, Karen took responsibility for the welfare of her five children.

Karen Bjølstad often used by Edvard Munch as a model, e.g. "Vaar" (1889) and "Det syke barn" (1885).
Died 91 years old in 1931. Buried in Nordstrand in Oslo.


Grandfather Bjølstad

Edvard Munch painted his grandfather on his death bed in Fredrikstad in 1888. The old sailor had fathered 21 children.


Hankø anno 1888

Edvard Munch paints "Notbinderen" on Hankø and visits the artist Hans Gude and his wife.


Grimsrød farm, Jeløy
Edvard Munch rents Grimsrød farm on Jeløy, 1913 to 1916.


"Anene, kvinnene og livet"

A book about Edvard Munch´s connections to Østfold, 1996.

Written by Torill Stokkan

Published with support from Norsk Kulturråd, Østfold county and Fredrikstad municipality.


A new book by Torill Stokkan will appere in 2013, called

Tante Karen - Kvinnen bak Edvard Munch



Sculptress Birthe Marie Løveid has agreed to create the monument.



The monument Munchs two mothers will be unveiled October 25th 2013


The organisation: 

Munchs Mothers 2013

org.nr 994 445 286


Banc account:

DnB NOR 15031261004 

IBAN NO58 1503 1261 004

Swift: DNBANOKKxxx


Together we can preserve the past and beautify the present!

Together we have a lot to give!


The organisation  Munchs Mødre are very greatful for the contribution from:

Beer Sten AS (sokkel)

The author Anne B Ragde

Sally Epstein, USA

Ineke Brinkmann 

Mange private givere!

Fredrikstad Arbeiderforening

Det Kvindelige Læseselskab

Fredrikstad by´s vel og forskjønnelse





 Munch 150 Fredrikstad