Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a collection of over 10,000 works.
History and Architecture
The museum’s origins date back to 1885, when the industrialist and art collector Carl Jacobsen, owner of the well-known Carlsberg Breweries, opened to the public his art collection, mostly composed of ancient sculptures and 19th century French paintings.
In 1897, the collection was moved into a new state-owned museum, built on purpose.
The name Glyptotek, meaning “Sculpture collection”, was copied from that of the Glyptothek museum in Munich, founded by King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1830.
The imposing historicist, Venetian-style, building of the new museum was designed by Danish architect Jens Vilhelm Dahlerup and enlarged three times from its completion to the present.
Today, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek complex consists of four buildings: the original Dahlerup building, to which a winter garden topped by an imposing metal dome was added in 1906, the Kampmann building (1906) designed by architect Hack Kampmann, and an expansion conceived by Henning Larsen architects, completed in 1996 in order to accommodate the French painting collection. Thereafter, the museum underwent an extensive renovation in 2006, after a design by the Danish architectural firm Dissing+Weitling.
Early version (1888) of the design by Vilhelm Dahlerup for the first Glyptotek building, showing a massive dome which was never built
North facade of the Dahlerup building, today; photo Ole Haupt
Perspective drawing of the final design of the first building, Vilhelm Dahlerup, 1890
Aerial view of the Dahlerup building, shortly after completion
The metal dome which covers the winter garden of the museum, completed in 1906; photo Ole Haupt
Museum plan with the 1996 Henning Larsen expansion marked in gray; courtesy Henning Larsen architects
Interior of the Henning Larsen building with the sculpture “The Shade” (1880) by Auguste Rodin in background
Collection and exhibitions
The collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek include the largest collection of antique art in Denmark, along with notable collections of 19th century Danish and French sculpture and painting, and of European modern art.
The collection of antiquities encompasses three sections – dedicated to Antique Egypt, Greece & Roman Empire, and ancient near-East and Mediterranean civilizations (especially to the Etruscan one) – comprising sculptures, frescoes, vases, bronze objects, sarcophagi, and mummies, dating from 6,000 BC to the 5th century AD. The collection’s most famous pieces include the stone head of Egyptian king Amenhotep II (15th century BC), an entire tomb of an Etruscan prince excavated near the Sabine Hills (8th century BC), the Rayet kouros’ head (6th century BC), the Etruscan Sarcophagus with reclining man (200 BC), and a marble head of Emperor Caligula still retaining traces of its original painted decoration (1st century AD).
Views of the Egyptian Collection; photos Ole Haupt
Tomb of an Etruscan prince from the Sabine Hills; photo courtesy Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Collection of antiquities; photos Ole Haupt
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Central Hall. Photo: Kim Nilsson
Roman head of Emperor Caligula, original (right) and colorized replica (left); photo Ana Cecilia Gonzalez
The 18th and 19th century art collection comprises paintings and sculptures by both artists of the so-called Danish Golden Age (such as Jens Juel, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Christen Købke, and Johan Thomas Lundbye), and of the Impressionist and post-Impressionist movements – with works by Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, among others – along with sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, and Auguste Rodin.
The modern art collection includes works by Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti.
French sculpture collection; photo Ole Haupt
Danish Golden Age collection; photo Ole Haupt
Vincent van Gogh, Lanscape from Saint-Rémy, 1889; photo courtesy Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Claude Monet, Shadow on the Sea. The Cliffs at Pourville, 1882, photo courtesy Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek also organizes special exhibitions, guided tours, family activities, workshops for kids, concerts (especially of classical music), lectures, conferences, and special events.
The museum includes an auditorium, a library, a shop, and a cafe located in the winter garden.
The winter garden of the museum; photo Kim Nilsson
Cover image: north facade of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; photo Ole Haupt
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copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474