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

(CNN) —  

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.