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'The Scream' Goes On Display At Museum Of Modern Art

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One of the most famous images in this history of art goes on view at the Museum of Modern Art, and while you don't need special tickets, you should expect crowds. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

It's one of the most famous, most haunting and most expensive art works of all time. And now, Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is making plenty of noise here at the Museum of Modern Art as it goes on view for the next six months, along with a handful of other Munch works.

Ann Temkin, the chief curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA, knows the exhibit will draw huge crowds.

"'The Scream' is really a household word, a household image, and from the time it was made, that was true," Temkin said. "It's somehow so startling and so odd that it caught people's imagination.

It continues to do so for many reasons. There were four versions made at the turn of the last century. Two have been stolen and recovered. (Yes, there is stepped-up security at MoMA.)

Also, an original pastel on paper was sold at auction in May for a record-breaking sum of nearly $120 million. The owner has been kept a secret, though widely reported to be MoMA trustee Leon Black.

There were some questions raised about how this work of art changed hands during the the Nazi regime, though MoMA says it has investigated its provenance and has no concerns. Most importantly, it's a psychological moment we can all relate to.

When I asked if it was the Mona Lisa of modern art, this is how Temkin responded:

"People like me probably don't make analogies like that," she said. "The reason the analogy holds, though is that like the Mona Lisa, you don't need to know anything about modern art to have heard of it and to even have an image of it in your mind.

While the work is certainly a stand-alone piece, the rest of the exhibit offers museum-goers a chance to see Munch's haunting angst and emotional depth, and perhaps understand how his artistry still speaks to us, even screams at us.

The Scream is on view through the end of April.

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