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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Culture Vulture’s Guide to the Nordics — Denmark

Photo: Kim Nilsson

Set in the heart of Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek brings its classical collections of art to life with a string of engaging special exhibitions, talks and events.

Photo: Tahnee Cracchiola, Getty

Photo: Ana Cecilia Gonzalez

Living art for living people With an ambition of renewing its relevance in today’s global world, Denmark’s historic art museum, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, is changing its strategy to revitalise and broaden the appeal of its classic collections. With a string of engaging special exhibitions, talks and events, the Copenhagen museum is honouring its founder’s ambition to present living art for living people. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Opened in 1897, the Glyptotek was created by Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914), the founder of the Ny Carlsberg brewery and an avid art collector. With a collection of over 10,000 works of art and archaeological objects from Ancient Egypt, the worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Danish and French art of the 19th century, the museum has for many years retained a rather elitist image. This is, however, changing. With a number of special events, including the recent Queering the Museum, in celebration of Copenhagen Pride, the 70 | Issue 128 | September 2019

museum is proving that though old, its collection is still very much alive. Director of the Glyptotek, Christine Buhl Andersen, explains: “When opening the last wing of the museum in 1906, Carl Jacobsen said that his ambition was for the museum to be a place with living art for living people. Even though it’s ancient art, he wanted the experience to be new and relevant. That’s the original vision for the museum, and it’s the one we want to revive. We need to create something that speaks to people, all people, not just Danish people – and not just the elite.”

Opening on 20 September, the Glyptotek’s newest exhibition, The Road to Palmyra, is part of this strategy. The exhibition is based on the Glyptotek’s remarkable collection of Palmyranian art and will be the first special exhibition in Denmark devoted to the culture of ancient Palmyra, an oasis city located in present-day Syria. “The town is a unique place, an oasis, a meeting point and multicultural melting pot, and in this exhibition we’re bringing it all in – the presentation and settings are created to bring you right back to that time and place,” Andersen says, before rounding off: “Today, Palmyra is a place you cannot visit because of war and conflict, and that sad circumstance just shows how important and relevant the cultural heritage that we hold here at the Glyptotek still is.” Web: www.glyptoteket.com

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Scan Magazine, Issue 128, September 2019  

The September issue of Scan Magazine aims to nurse you into the cooler, darker season with a design section full of hygge and a brand-new cu...

Scan Magazine, Issue 128, September 2019  

The September issue of Scan Magazine aims to nurse you into the cooler, darker season with a design section full of hygge and a brand-new cu...