I love museums, and I have a memory from a couple of years ago (in my pre-blogging existence) of reading a travel magazine (have Googled this article to no avail) and seeing beautiful photos of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I can recall thinking, I’d really love to go there. I can remember feeling puzzled why something called the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art was in Denmark. And then, upon realizing that this museum is not even located in Copenhagen, I dejectedly thought to myself, I’ll probably never get to go.
Well, I got to go! And it was fantastic! A must if you’re visiting Copenhagen. Or really anywhere in Denmark. The county’s not that big.
After we left our friends in Skane, Sweden, last July, we were on our way to Copenhagen for three nights before we returned to New York City. We decided to take advantage of having a car before we would have to give it back the next day (no need for a car in Copenhagen). So my idea was that we would drive directly from Sankt Oloft, a small town in Southern Sweden to the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark. Then we would arrive in Copenhagen that evening after having spent the afternoon at the museum. The museum is 35km outside of Copenhagen, which is approximately a 30-minute drive or train ride. The whole plan worked out quite well…
The verb “explore” really describes what you do at The Louisiana Museum. It’s not like it’s a huge building where you just shuffle around, gazing at art. No, it’s a bunch of little buildings (modern and historic) and paths. You’re really moving the entire time. The landscaping of the grounds is just incredible; both the artwork and the plants are laid out on the rolling hills just perfectly. And then you’ve got the Oresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden, as your backdrop. At times, I spotted some turquoise in the water, which is not what I was expected so far North.
Even when you’re inside the museum, it’s not a passive experience. You’re constantly in and out of spaces, taking in some of the finest pieces of art produced from 1945 on. The impressive artist roster includes Picasso, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston, Morris Louis, Jorn, Baselitz, Polke, Kiefe, Per Kirkeby and many more. When we were there in July 2012, there was a special exhibit about Nordic Design. The exhibit focused on architecture included dwelling designs (that you could go inside) from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. I love being able to learn more about the place that I’m visiting.
So how did the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art get its name? It’s because the first owner of the property, Alexander Brun, who named the villa (the original museum) after his three wives, who were all named Louise. I guess Alexander knew his type: women named Louise!