Munch and Denmark


The objective of the Munch and Denmark exhibition is to illustrate the importance of the relation with Denmark for Munch’s artistic development.


For Munch, Copenhagen was a bridge to Europe – a transit and a fugitive meeting place. During his passing through the modern and pulsating Copenhagen, he would establish contacts with Danish artists and poets, while the city’s exhibitions provided him with inspiration. The artists associated with Den Frie Udstilling (the Independent Exhibition) such as J.F. Willumsen, Johan Rohde and Paul Gauguin’s Danish wife, Mette Gauguin, welcomed Munch into their circle and became very important in introducing him to the art of Paul Gauguin. Among Danish poets the poet Emanuel Goldstein was particularly important for Munch’s reception of Impressionism and symbolism during the 1890s.


Munch also found peace and healing in Copenhagen during his years of crisis. In 1905 he settled in Taarbæk north of Copenhagen, and in August 1908 his stay was prolonged when he let himself be admitted to the neurologist Dr. Daniel Jacobson’s clinic for seven months. Munch transformed his room at the clinic into a studio where several works were painted, including a number of major works, and he also experimented with photography and lithographs.


The curator of the exhibition is the internationally acclaimed Munch expert Dieter Buchhart in collaboration with Ordrupgaard. Extensive studies of Munch’s relationship with Denmark lie behind the exhibition. These studies will be presented at the exhibition and in a comprehensive and well-illustrated catalogue in Danish and English. The exhibition is generously supported by the Norwegian museums with important paintings on loan from The Munch Museum, The National Museum of Norway and Bergen Art Museum, and the exhibition will also display pictures from private collections, which have never previously been exhibited publicly.


Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway is the patron of the exhibition.


The exhibition is supported by:

Augustinus Fonden

OAK Foundation Denmark


04 September 2009 - 03 January 2010

Previous exhibitions