It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

2017 Arts and Archives: Danish Design Today and the Botanical Gardens

Since 1926, Designmuseum Danmark has been housed in one of Copenhagen’s finest rococo buildings, the former King Frederik’s Hospital.

Today we focused on the current Danish design and also visited the Botanical Gardens. Designmuseum Danmark is the country’s largest museum for Danish and international design It also is a forum for industrial design and brings together and documents the contemporary developments within industrial design, decorative and applied arts.
Designmuseum Danmark was founded in 1890 and first opened to the public in 1995. Since 1926, Designmuseum Danmark has been housed in one of Copenhagen’s finest rococo buildings, the former King Frederik’s Hospital. We started with a tour of  Danish Design Now which represents a selection of contemporary Danish design within the entire spectrum: furniture, product design, graphic design, fashion, and design in the public space. We were also introduced to The Danish Chair and how the strong chair design tradition has shaped the current design trends. The chair is one of the strongest representatives of the development of Danish design and a reason why furniture design has made Denmark famous worldwide.
(A fellow visitor relaxing in the entry hall of the Designmuseum Danmark gives you an indication of the quality of the Danish chairs)

On our way to the Botanical Gardens we stopped by the Frederic’s Church, The Marble Church. The building of the church started in 1740 and was finally consecrated in 1894. It is mainly built of Norwegian marble but also Danish faux marble and other materials are included.
The place is on of the largest of its kind in Europe, 46 meters high and supported by 12 pillars.

The Botanical Garden belongs to the University of Copenhagen and contains the largest collection of living plants and the only genebank for wild plants in Denmark. The garden covers an area of 10 hectares and has an extensive complex of historical glasshouses, the most notable is the old Palm House from 1874. 
The Botanical Garden was first established in 1600 but it was moved twice before it was ultimately given its current location in 1870. The garden contains more than 13,000 species and is arranged in different sections including: Danish plants (600 species), perennial plants (1,100 species), annual plants (1,100 species), rock gardens with plants from mountainous areas in Central and Southern Europe and Conifer Hill which is planted with coniferous trees. One of the newest inclusions is the rhododendron garden.
This was a very pleasant and sunny day, spiced with a icy wind.
 Our group on the steps of the historical palm house dating from 1874
More photos from our Saturday here

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Arts and Archives Tour: Natural History Museums' Botanical Museum

The entry hall of the temporary location was lined with botanical paintings with unknown origin. These were painted on the earlier part of 1900's 
3rd Day of the 2017 Arts and Archives Tour was reserved for the botanical collections of the Natural History Museum of Denmark. The herbarium is temporarily placed in Brøndby outside Copenhagen while a new museum building is completed in the center of Copenhagen. The contraction of the new national museum of natural history is expected to be finished in 2022.

The Herbarium C now located in Brøndby consists of 2.8 million specimens in 7 different herbaria with 20000 type specimens and 11300 genera.

After arriving Brøndby we first heard a presentation of the collection based research by Nina Rønsted, who is the curator of the botanical collections including their work on the medicinal plants.

Olof Ryding who manages the herbarium collections sowed us around the current herbarium collections and finally we compared the illustrations in Flora Danica with the herbarium specimens that were used for the description process.

Today was a rainy day and after the trip to Brøndby we took the water buss and did sightseeing along the harbor and said Hi to the Little Mermaid.
The Little Mermaid by Edward Eriksen (1876-1959) after Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tail by the same name.

More pictures from our rainy day, please click here

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Second Day 2017 Arts and Archives - Lund, Sweden

 The University Library of Lund, Sweden (UB)
Today we headed north and across Öresund to Sweden. After a 45 minutes train ride we arrived to Lund to mainly visit the University Library in Lund and much more.
At the library we were greeted by Åsa Sjöblom and Jenny Bonnevier from the conservation department. The library was founded in 1666 as s the University, and in 1698 king Karl XII introduced the system of legal deposit. This means that they receive one copy of all printed publications in Sweden, at the moment they are expanding 1600 meters per year (two meters per day). We focused mainly on material published before 1800 and after 13th century. The library has circa 70 incapulas (manuscripts).The absolute rarity was a manuscript from 1314 which was written in Færøysk. Unfortunately this vellum work got bound in Germany in 1916. The library has circa 70 incapulas (manuscripts). We saw also Carl von Linnaeus sketches and the some of the correspondence between Sven Nilsson (director of the Swedish Museum of Natural History in 1828-1831) and Charles Darwin. You will see more examples of the material by clicking here.
After lunch we visited Lund Cathedral. The oldest part of the cathedral was inaugurated in 1123 and it has remained mainly untouched since then.
Drotten’s church is the oldest in Lund and after its foundation (probably) in 1050, Lund quickly became a major center of power and influence for the Christian church. Drotten’s Church was pulled down during the reformation of 1536, when Denmark switched from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism. Around 3500 skeletons from the graves of this church have been analyzed by scientists.
Final stop for our day was Skissernas Museum, museum for the sketches and work process for public art. This museum was established 1934 and is largest of its type globally. It has a collection of over 30 000 works from Henry More, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay too  Diego Rivera, Alexander Calder and Isaak  Grünewald and many more. They also have excellent temporary exhibits and this time among others the American artist Swoon, whose real name is Caledonia Curry.
                                 Waiting for our tour to start at the Skissernas Museum in Lund, Sweden
More from our second day here:   

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

1. 2017 Arts and Archives - Copenhagen

 Rubus chamaemorus from Flora Danica (1761-1883) that consist of 51 parts and 3240 copper engraved plates. This page comes from the first volume with three parts published in 1766.

Our 2017 Arts and Archives Tour started in Copenhagen today with a visit to the Royal Library and to the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst). It a was sunny but chilly 2-km morning walk to the Library where we first had a tour focusing on the architecture, history and cultural life of the library. There after we had an excellent viewing and interpretation of several early Danish herbals, Flora Danica, prayer books and other rarities including Peter Forsskål’s Album Amicorum from mid 1760’s containing a personal note from Carl von Linnaeus and works connected to the Arabia Felix.
The afternoon we spent in the National Gallery leaning about the history, conservation methods and challenges of the  Cotterfer Codex and the  Green Codex both illustrated by Holzbecker and originally obtained from the Gottefor Castle in Schleswig-Holstein (1610/20-71). The Codex was commissioned by Fredric III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp which belonged that time to Denmark. The codex includes 365 folios and 1180 illustrated plants all on parchment and painted with gouache. We could also view the original plates for two of the 5 oversized books.
We rounded up the first day by visiting the excellent current exhibits at the SMK (Statens Museum for Kunst) .

Dr. Niels Borring presents one of the oversized folios from the Cottefer Codex

To see more pictures form our first day please click here.