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design-museum-copenhagen

The Design Museum Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Design Museum offers a rich and varied guide around Danish design. From furniture, products, fashion and graphic design, the classic Scandinavian influences and the icons of Danish Design like Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mortensen and Verner Panton feature.

While the world renowned furniture, products and fashion design quite rightly feature strongly, the rich tradition of Danish poster design and logo design is also well represented. Web design is also featured which is great to see the world of the web entering into design history and gaining recognition.

The collection is stunning, with new exhibitions changing regularly. Highly recommended.

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Finding the Design Museum in Copenhagen

Bredgade is just off Kongens Nytorv, the square that contains Magasin and Nyhavn harbour. About ten minutes walk, just past Amalienborg, the Royal Family’s winter residence and the very beautiful Marmor Kirk. If you carry on past the design museum you will eventually come to the Little Mermaid. So no excuse for not visiting.

 

Emil Nolde at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

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This photo is copyright of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The summer exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a retrospective of Emil Nolde’s best work. He is one of my own favourite painters and Louisiana is one of my favourite art galleries. I found it an exhilarating and inspiring experience and can highly recommend it. It is on until the 19th of October.

Here is more on the Emil Nolde exhibition from Louisiana’s own website, and here is an article I wrote on Louisiana Museum of Modern Art which includes information on getting there.

There’s an extensive and fascinating resource on Emil Nolde on Artsy.net at www.artsy.net/artist/emil-nolde

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This photo is from the Artsy.net website.

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Denmark’s National Gallery -Statens Museum for Kunst

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Statens Museum for kunst. Well named and bloody awful!

Denmark’s National Gallery is a bit of a let down. Despite it’s Danish name being very amusing if you have an eight year old’s sense of humour, it’s a disappointing gallery. I wouldn’t say don’t visit it, only make sure you visit Louisiana Museum of art which I’ve written about here, and The Carlsberg Glyptotek which I’ve written about here, first.

There are a few nice paintings featured, Matisse, a Modigliani, but they are very thin on the ground, in a very large gallery. The highlight for me, and from which the poor quality of the rest of the collection stands out even further, are the Emil Noldes. They are sensational.

Of course art and art galleries are subjective. You may love the place… I would just say don’t think as it is Denmark’s National Gallery that it is the one to visit.

 

Carlsberg Glyptotek

Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen art gallery

Carlsberg Glyptotek

Carlsberg Glyptotek situated close to Tivoli and the main square Rådhuspladsen in the centre of Copenhagen is an excellent art gallery. It’s owned and run by the Carlsberg fund, meaning you are contributing to the arts as you down a nice cold beer.

It has a large collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, a large collection of Roman statues, and lots of Danish landscape paintings from the 18th and 19th century which are all great collections.

However, what makes the Glyptotek frankly unmissable if you are in Copenhagen, is the collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist works. There are Van Goghs, an excellent Manet (see below. Check out the black bottle in the bottom corner), Courbet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir and quite a few Gauguins.

Gauguin lived in Copenhagen for a few years, and was married to a Danish woman called Mette. In a documentary on Gauguin, the brilliant art critic and documentary maker Waldemar Januszczak mis-pronounced her name as Met. 1-0 to me.

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Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

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So it’s a big ‘thumbs up’ for Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Ba dum tss…

If you are visiting Copenhagen, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one place that must not be missed for those interested in art and design. Situated in the small town of Humlebæk, north Zealand, this gallery is the very best modern art gallery in Scandinavia, and the second most visited pay to enter attraction in Denmark, behind Tivoli fun fair.

Getting to Louisiana from Copenhagen

To get to Louisiana, is a 35 minute train ride from Copenhagen Central Station to Humlebæk – it is on the way to Hesingør. I recommend buying a return ticket with Louisiana entrance included, which knocks a little of the price. It’s about a ten minute walk from the station, it’s well sign posted, and as there is pretty much nothing else in Humlebæk, it’s where everyone else getting off the train is going. The entrance price is at the time of writing 110 Kroner. Which is about 12  British pounds or 20 US dollars.

The Louisiana collection

The permanent collection changes from time to time, subject to the visiting exhibitions. They have some fantastic 20th and 21st century works. An excellent collection of Giacometti sculptures, and if you are lucky with the timing of your visit, there are some great Giacometti drawings too. Yves Klein, Warhol, Dubuffet, Hockney, Rauschenberg, Moore, Bourgeois, Guston, Jorn, Baselitz, Polke, Kiefer and Kirkeby are all featured. They have enough of a fair share of big guns, to guarantee some big guns are always on show.

To see which exhibitions are visiting for your visit check out the Louisiana exhibitions page here.

The Louisiana experience

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I’ve taken people to Louisiana not at all interested in art, and they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. (Believe me, my dear old Dad, would have said!) The building covers a large area and is situated in gardens with amongst others Moore and Miro sculptures dotted around. On a beautiful day the views over The Oresund to Sweden are stunning. There’s a very nice restaurant/cafe with modern Scandinavian sandwiches and cake. You can have a beer or a glass of wine, and it’s a great chance for having a sly look at the Danish and Swedish middle class, in their element. There’s a kids bit too, but as I’ve no kids I can’t vouch for it.

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Fun facts

  • The main building, from which the name Louisiana took it’s name, was given the name by a man who had three wives (not at the same time) all these women were named Louise. Louise in Danish is pronounced ‘Louisa’. Hence the name, Louisiana.
  • A number of years ago I  found myself in a sick tent at Roskilde Festival. I got chatting to a big tough looking Dutch guy, with suspected broken ribs. I asked, ‘were you down the front at a concert when it happened?’ He replied, ‘no, I was rolling down the hill at Louisiana yesterday…’
  • The wifi code for Louisiana is, ‘louisiana’.
  • It’s a great place for bumping into thingy from The Killing/The Bridge/Borgen. As out of work actors mingle with the plebs, safe in the knowledge Danes will leave them alone. Janteloven!

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