“The Scream” Artwork Up For Auction

March 15, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. auction (n.) – a public sale in which the product is sold to whoever offers the highest price to pay for it
Example: The old house was put in auction so the owner can get the best price for it.

2. depict (v.) – to show or represent something by showing a visual image or a story
Example: The famous painting Mona Lisa depicts a lady’s mysterious smile.

3. haunting (adj.) –  remaining in the mind, usually because of an unforgettable  quality
Example: The powerful music was very haunting.

4. vibrant (adj.) – lively and full of energy
Example:  Clothes with vibrant colors are usually worn during spring and summer.

5. inspiration (n.) –  something that gives a person an idea or a reason to do an activity
Example: Nature is the inspiration of his vibrant painting.

Read the text below.

“The Scream,” an artwork famous around the world, will be put in auction on May 2 at Sotheby's Auction House in New York.

The artwork was created by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1895. It depicts a haunting figure of a person standing on a bridge, with mouth wide open, as if screaming. Two other figures of people can also be seen standing further behind it. These figures stand against a colorful and vibrant background

The art piece was drawn with pastel, and is only one out of four versions of "The Scream" made by Munch. It also remains in its original frame, and is the only version that includes a poem of Munch, explaining his inspiration for the work. Additionally, the two figures in the artwork’s background are looking far into the scenery, unlike in the other three works of Munch.

Sotheby's senior vice-president Simon Shaw estimates that this version will sell for around $80 million, because of its unique and rare features. The masterpiece would be a big honor to have for collectors and institutions, he adds.

Before it arrived in Sotheby’s, “The Scream” in pastel was privately owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, who received it from his father Thomas, a friend and supporter of Munch.

Having owned "The Scream" for a long time, Olsen feels the artwork's power to affect people has grown. He thinks that it is time to give the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate such a great piece of art.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

      Why do you think some people collect expensive artworks?
      Would you buy such an expensive artwork if you have the money? Why or why not?

Discussion B

      How important are artworks to one’s culture?
      What are some ways people can do to show appreciation for great artworks?


March 15, 2012