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In 2001 Louisiana received a unique donation from the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation, consisting of more than 450 Pre-Columbian items. This donation highlights the encounter between modern art and ethnographica for which the museum has formed the setting of many exhibitions over the years.

The collection belonged to the Dane Niels Wessel Bagge, who as a young man travelled first to Paris and London, then to Hollywood to try his hand as a dancer, choreographer, stage designer and actor. A large inheritance enabled him to build up an extensive collection.

A selection of his Pre-Columbian objects (i.e. artefacts from before the arrival of Columbus in America) are now on view in the light pavillon which is situated right between the East Wing (below ground level) and the South Wing. The objects are from from North, Central and South America and the differences among the individual cultures striking, but the similarities in expression and form are also eye-catching and eye-opening. The modern observer will recognize, in these objects, aesthetic idioms close to our own. 

The presentation has been supported by the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation.