The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the most beautiful contemporary art museum I have ever been to. Located approximately 30km north of Copenhagen, we missed our chance last visit but I feel so grateful to have been able to attend this spring. The rhododendron and horse chestnut trees were in full bloom, ferns were uncurling and the willows had just opened.
Aside from the incredible programming and a small, but really interesting permanent collection the building and grounds are so so remarkable. With glass corridors between galleries showcasing the sculpture garden, the view of Sweden across the sea, a Giacometti room with floor to ceiling glass window facing the pond, and an excellent cafe (with actually decent food) it has become a destination for Danes and many abroad. We were told last year that if a new Danish couple visits Louisiana on a date, then they are getting serious. It really is a special place.
Currently on show now is an extensive retrospective of Hilma af Klint and an exhibition of Joseph Beuys. We had guest contributor Julia A. Murphy write and document an exhibition of Hilma af Klint in London, England spring 2013. It is such a great article and if you're interested to read more about her, please revisit this post. I didn't look at the programming before arriving at Louisiana and was really excited that I had the opportunity to see Klint's works in person.
The country house was built by Alexander Brun in 1855. A bee keeper and cultivator of fruit trees, he named the manor Louisiana after his 3 wives who were all named Louise. Knud W. Jensen took over the property in 1955 and in 1958 opened its doors as a museum under the same name. Originally intended to be a home only for modern Danish art, it quickly became an international institution.
From the start, Louisiana's exhibition practices followed the tradition at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which in the first half of the twentieth century had become famous – and notorious – for expanding the range of modern art to include architecture, design, photography, film and other genres. On its own account, Louisiana has also supplemented modern art with cultural and ethnographic exhibitions and placed an importance on the versatility of the program by highlighting the interplay among the various artistic fields.
Since the mid-1950s seven 'discreet' modernist extensions have been added to the original house. Architects Jørgen Bo and Wilhem Wohlert decided to connect all the buildings in such a way so that visitors could feel like they are on a covered stroll through the park. In my opinion, a great success.