Munch's 'The Scream' hits MoMa in New York City

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is on display in Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art.

Story highlights

  • The exhibit opened Wednesday and runs through April 2013
  • The iconic work fetched nearly $120 million at Sotheby's auction house in May
  • The previous record for a Munch work of art tallied just over $38 million

Art enthusiasts ranging from aficionados to the causal tourist queued up in New York on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's "The Scream," which went on display in Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art for a six-month exhibition.

The exhibit opened Wednesday and runs through April 2013.

"Seeing it in real life is so special," said Julianna Rees, a San Francisco resident who attended the opening.

The iconic work fetched nearly $120 million at Sotheby's auction house in May.

Previously, the most expensive artwork ever sold there was Pablo Picasso's painting "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," which brought in $106.5 million two years ago.

The previous record for a Munch work of art tallied just over $38 million.

Dubbed "the portrait of a soul" and "the face that launched 1,000 therapists," "The Scream" depicts a distorted human figure -- hands flat against its sunken face, eyes and mouth wide open -- in the foreground of a nightmarish landscape.