Following extensive fire proofing of the original red museum building, Statens Museum for Kunst now shows a distinguished selection of art spanning seven centuries; works culled from the permanent collections and displayed in both sections of the museum, both the old and the new buildings. Important masterpieces by Cranach, Titian and Rembrandt, by Danish Golden Age artists such as Abildgaard, Eckersberg and Hammershøi, and by modern masters such as Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Nolde, Judd, and Kirkeby are presented alongside other major pieces from the collection in a new hang that creates new connections even as old links remain in place.
New within the old and old within the new The full range of the collections represent a challenge in itself, spanning the length and breadth of Western art from the early Renaissance up to our present day and encompassing the many and varied vehicles for artistic expression. Here audiences can find the best of everything: From drawings to oil paintings, from etchings to photographs, from sculptures created from stone, bronze and wood to collages, videos, and installation art. The works, numbering in excess of 1,600 exhibits, are presented within chronological zones - but these zones are disrupted and put into perspective by islands of art juxtaposed across time to highlight specific themes. The hang and the comprehensive communication activities associated with it have a corresponding variety that makes it possible to accommodate and utilise the rich diversity of the collections. Thus, most of the older art from outside of Denmark is shown in the white museum building where the light, airy and spacious rooms are the perfect foil for the classic pieces. Conversely, contemporary works challenge the refurbished rooms of the neoclassical red museum building.
Focus Rooms The new hang also involves an ongoing sequence of exhibitions in new Focus Rooms. In these settings, we wish to focus special attention on selected artists and epochs from Danish and international art, incorporating this specific focus to accentuate and deepen the museum visitors' experience of the overall sequence of the new hang. We begin with exhibitions about Erik Thommesen (sculpture and drawing), Per Kirkeby (painting and sculpture), Lars Nørgård (drawing and painting), Per Bak Jensen (photography), and Neapolitan drawings.
An ideal setting Since the beginning of 2005, the original red museum building, designed by the architect Vilhelm Dahlerup, has undergone extensive fire proofing measures. As work was undertaken to create a fireproof setting, we took the opportunity to also carry out comprehensive modernising of the public areas of the building. Its reopening will reveal a building with a new room layout, new colour scheme, and contemporary lighting that gives museum visitors the best possible conditions for immersing themselves in the art. Our wish has been fulfilled: A stronger, more sensual interaction between the red and the white buildings has been established. That is why we call it The New Statens Museum for Kunst.