Each museum has its own history...
... and develops in its own special way. Louisiana opened in 1958 with a collection of modern Danish art. The original idea of the museum was to show the interaction between visual art, architecture and the landscape, and to create a distinctive Danish milieu, a sanctuary for people with a commitment to the art of the period. From the mid-60s on, Louisiana changed its approach from being a predominantly Danish museum to a museum with an international collection.
More than 3.000 works of art
Today Louisiana's collection contains more than 3000 works, many of international significance. It takes its point of departure in the period after 1945. With names like Picasso, Giacometti, Dubuffet, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston, Morris Louis, Jorn, Baselitz, Polke, Kiefer and Per Kirkeby.
Selective emphasis rather than strict chronology
It has never been Louisiana’s goal to represent the whole chronological line through the art of the epoch. Louisiana’s collection is characterized by concentrating on more compact groups of works and artists into which we offer the viewer deeper insights. This is especially true of artists like Giacometti and Asger Jorn, who are both represented by several very fine works – and it is also true of a number of artistic periods: European Nouveau Réalisme with Yves Klein, American Pop Art with Warhol and Lichtenstein, German art of the 1980s with Kiefer and Baselitz, as well as video art from the 1990s until today with important installations by, among others, Bill Viola and Gary Hill.
Work is constantly done to renew the collection and close ‘gaps’ where possible – in recent years the museum has added Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston and David Hockney to the collection on the ‘classic modernism’ front, and from the international contemporary art scene we have acquired a number of works by important younger artists – Doug Aitken, Thomas Demand, Jonathan Meese, Julie Mehretu, Aernout Mik, Candice Breitz, Tal R and others.
Leaving traces in the collection
Louisiana sees it as important that there are close links between the exhibition activities and the development of the collections. Therefore the exhibitions often leave traces in the collection thanks to acquisitions or donations.
Louisiana’s ability to develop the collection is highly dependent on the generosity and goodwill of private individuals and foundations. Louisiana receives no public funding for art acquisitions.
Read more about the collection »