52museums – Day 1

Post 1: Introduction to our Troll Fountain (video)
HELLO! Welcome to a week with The Vejen Art Museum. We are proud to be the first Danish art museum on 52museums. We look forward to giving you glimpses of Danish art at the turn of the century, 1900, Danish symbolism and art nouveau. Our Troll Fountain, made by Niels Hansen Jacobsen, was unveiled in 1923. It was used for cooling hot water from the nearby power station. Until the 1950’s the burning hot water circulated all hours of the day, all year round – even when ice gave the Troll what the sculptor called “Winter Fur”.
Music: ‘Trold’ by Anders Tærsbøl Feddersen

Post 2: The Troll (video)
The Danish sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen lived in Paris in the 1890’s, but was on vacation in Copenhagen in the summer of 1896. Having no studio, he rented part of the basement under the newly built National Gallery (@SMK). It was there he modelled The Troll – a figure from his childhood memories. In 1923 a bronze version was placed in the centre of the fountain in Vejen. The cascading water was boiling hot and on cool days a steamy haze enveloped the fountain.


Post 3: Introducing the Vejen Art Museum building
The citizens of Vejen cofinanced The Vejen Art Museum for the sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen. He was born in Vejen in 1861 and died there in 1941. The museum was inaugurated on the 1st of July 1924 with three purposes in mind. The huge Sculpture Chamber (1) became his exhibition space, to the north was his private home (2) and to the south his studio (3).

Post 4: The Vejen Art Museum buildings (video)
The Vejen Art Museum opened in 1924 presenting the life’s work of Niels Hansen Jacobsen in the octagonal Sculpture Chamber. In 1938 the octagonal chamber to the south was added and in 1975 the long narrow passage was built in order to connect to the neighboring building from 1940. Since 1983/2000 it has housed the museum’s temporary exhibitions, storage of collections and workshops.
The museum recently received a grant of 28,6 mill. Dkr. from The A.P. Møller Foundation. They will be financing a new building where the long passage presently stands.
Arial footage: LLN Press, Vejen

Post 5: Niels Hansen Jacobsen in his livingroom
In a photograph from the late 1930’s the sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen is seen in his private sitting room in the northern end of the museum. He is reading a book about the Dutch sculptor Joseph Mendes da Costa. About 1905 Jacobsen and his colleagues wanted to invite the Dutch artist to exhibit in Copenhagen. The plans never matured, but in 2005 a selection of Mendes da Costas works visited the Vejen Art Museum on loan from the collections of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterloo.

Post 6: Old photos of the museum (video)
The museum collections hold a fine collection of old photographs from The Vejen Art Museum. We can see how the sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen wanted us to experience his life’s work – crammed tight and showing as many aspects as possible with the green plants to give a break from all the white plaster! His studio to the south soon became a part of the museum with the collection of paintings – gifts from The New Carlsberg Foundation (@nycarlsbergfondet). The brewer Carl Jacobsen insisted that a large part of the factories income was to be spent on bringing art out to as many people as possible in the Copenhagen area as well as in Vejen!


Post 7: The museum at present (video)
We leave you today with a look at the museum at present. The top lit octagonal Sculpture Chamber rises to 12 meters, holding the life’s work of Niels Hansen Jacobsen. The interplay between the plants and the sculptures in plaster, bronze and marble was a tradition he brought home with him from the salons in Paris. His home stands as he left it in 1941 and – as you might have seen in our previous post – his studio was already in his lifetime turned into an art gallery.
Music: ‘Til Anne’ by Anders Tærsbøl Feddersen

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