I originally ran this story as a fan of Edvard Munch's work, as a student of art history, and as an independent political activist here in the US. I was struck by the irony of this icon of alienation, created at the end of the 19th Century, being sold at auction by a private individual to another private individual for his [presumably] private pleasure. At the same time, as the Guardian article reports: "It was sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist. Proceeds of the sale will fund a new museum, art centre and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbours."
Maybe that's as unalienated as it gets here in 2012! I'll take it!
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UPDATED May 13, 2012:
The Scream sells for record $120m at auction
Edvard Munch's painting bought by unnamed telephone bidder during auction at Sotheby's in New York (The Guardian - UK)
NEW YORK — One of the art world's most recognizable images — Edvard Munch's "The Scream" — could sell for $80 million or more when it is auctioned at Sotheby's on Wednesday. (WSJ)
Sotheby's gonna make a fortune!