Real or Fake? Art mystery draws to a close at St. Olaf College

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Decades after it was first hung, a painting at St. Olaf College in Northfield is stirring up quite the conversation.

Experts have long suspected that “Eva” was a genuine work of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, best known for “The Scream.” Now, they’re getting closer to the answer.

Back in October, researchers collected samples of the painting to study the colors and conduct a molecular analysis in order to confirm or deny the suspicions.

Then, on Wednesday, school officials announced that the evidence suggests the painting is very likely an authentic Munch painting. 

“While there are still additional steps needed for official authentication, it is an exciting development for the college,” the school said in a release.

The portrait of violinist Eva Mudocci, which was donated St. Olaf alum Richard Tetlie, is now bringing Munch scholars to Minnesota. 

“It’s a big deal for us on campus,” said Jane Becker Nelson, Flaten Art Museum Director. “We look forward to making the portrait of Eva Mudocci more present as a tool for education and enjoyment for our students and faculty and staff, and the wider community.”

The school is also planning on using the piece in classes.