Small museum treasures may be found throughout Denmark, but the most complete and satisfying of them all us the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, situated in a sublime spot in Humlebæk, 35km (22 miles) north of Copenhagen.
This is one of Denmark’s most lauded cultural attractions, where its director Poul Erik Tøjner gives his insider guide to its most intriguing artworks, beautiful corners, distinctly Danish features and unexpected treasures.
But Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is so much more than an experience in modern and contemporary art – the property strikes a perfect balance between art, architecture and landscape. In the well-balanced style of the late 1950s’modernism, the museum presents itself as a horizontal and understated building complex that fits gracefully and intimately into the landscape.
Louisiana houses a splendid collection of 20th-century art, including pieces by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti and Asger Jorn.
The true Louisiana experience is sensorial, seamless, personal and ultimately not really about structure at all. Every first visit here seems to be sparked by the surprise of what opens up once you have entered through the modest courtyard and old country villa. From here you just feel like meandering, discovering the unexpected and taking it all in at your own pace.
Louisiana is so discrete, you almost might miss it as some of the buildings camouflage themselves into the spectacular site in stealth style. It is precisely the unpretentious aspect of Louisiana’s architecture that strikes the eye on the first visit.
It lies on the water’s edge, and the extensive sculpture garden, featuring work by Henry Moore and Alexander Calder, that surrounds the unassuming building (much of this space is underground)) is backdropped by exquisite coastal scenery and landscaping.
There is actually no one thing you have to see here, but one should pause to reflect in the Giacometti Gallery. The collection of Giacomettis, the proportions of the gallery and the view of the lake form an artistic totality – majestic, serene and breathtaking. The Sculpture Park with its Henry Moores and Alexander Calders and view of the sea cannot be missed either.
Only a handful of museums in the world have achieved the well-tempered interplay between architecture and nature that has been realized at Louisiana.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, written by Tor Kjolberg