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New Perspectives on Danish 20th and 21st Century History

Opens June 26
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Adjustment of the Collection with Art from the 20th and 21st Centuries

Frederiksborg ∙ Museum of National History presents a newly adjusted section for art from the 20th and 21st centuries, opening on June 26. This adjustment provides a more dynamic and nuanced insight into recent Danish histories on the third floor. Seventy-one works, most of which have never been exhibited before, have been retrieved from the museum’s storage. Six pieces are entirely new acquisitions made in preparation for this adjustment.

Overall, about half of the exhibited works have been replaced to present a more diverse picture of Danish history. The focus has been on increasing the representation of female artists and portraits, resulting in a rise from 14% to 40% of portrayed women. Among the exhibited works are remarkable paintings by Bertha Wegmann and P.S. Krøyer, including his iconic self-portrait and pieces like “Men of Industry” and “Georg Brandes.”

The new additions include two small but powerful portraits of the Danish artist Lili Elbe, painted by her partner Gerda Wegener. Lili Elbe was the first trans woman to undergo gender confirmation surgery. Other new works include a self-portrait by Wilhelm Freddie from 1960. The surrealist Wilhelm Freddie had a significant influence on changes in pornography laws.

Four unique, newly acquired Covid Pots created by Niels Pugholm reflect the recent history of Denmark and the world. With these pots, Pugholm has crafted a kind of modern history painting with scenes we all remember from when the pandemic hit: numerous press conferences, nasal swabbing, the eventual arrival of the vaccine, and a bedridden, sick girl – a motif popular in Nordic art around 1880-1900 with artists like Edvard Munch and Michael Ancher. Niels Pugholm has explored storytelling as a phenomenon in various media and materials. This makes him akin to other storytellers at Frederiksborg: from Peter Carlsen to Laurits Tuxen and Otto Bache.

The exhibition also features a fascinating portrait of a worn-out but festively dressed Danish author Herman Bang, as well as a lively portrait of the author Henri Nathansen by Valdemar Andersen. Additionally, visitors can experience a range of photographs, drawings, and graphics, including a portrait of the author Inger Christensen.