I decided to go to the Smithsonian Kite Festival. This was not meant to be an "art outing," but a fun day with my family. It was quite fun, but upon returning home, I was at a loss for a blog topic. While reviewing my photos, I began to ponder why someone had chosen Edvard Munch's "Scream" for their kite design. I have always liked the painting, but I did not realize it had permeated pop culture to the extent that it has. A quick web search proved that the original image can be found on a myriad of objects and that the image has been made into an even wider array of joke items.
Depending on which source you believe, there are somewhere between four and thirty versions of "Scream." The high number also includes sketches and studies, while the lower number represents what appear to be finished paintings. Munch described the walk he was on when he received inspiration for the painting, "The sun was setting -- suddenly the sky turned blood red. I paused, feeling exhausted ... there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city ... I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."
I was also unaware that one version of the painting was stolen off the wall of a museum in Norway in 2004 in the middle of the day. Reports of the theft said that this famous artwork was hanging on the wall by a picture wire, with no alarms and minimum security. It was insured against water damage and fire, but not theft! I found this incredible. Many months passed before the painting was recovered, unharmed. Three individuals were arrested.