Wilhelm and Henny


Art and Volapük


Etatsråd (titular councillor of state) Wilhelm Hansen (1868-1936) forged a remarkable career in insurance, e.g. as founder of the Danish insurance companies Dansk Folkeforsikringsanstalt and Mundus, and as managing director of Hafnia, another Danish insurance company, from 1905 until his death in 1936.


Wilhelm Hansen is often described as a very independent, visionary, and industrious man with a uniquely targeted passion – characteristics which pertain also to his work as an art collector.


Through his life Wilhelm Hansen made a space for art, for the sake of his own enjoyment, but also indeed for the sake of bringing art, and French art in particular, to a wider audience throughout Scandinavia.


In 1891 Wilhelm Hansen married Henny Soelberg Jensen. She and Wilhelm were very young when they met in 1887. One of their first mutual interests was the universal, artificial language Volapük invented in 1879, which Wilhelm taught and wrote textbooks in. His motto was “Menad bal, pyk bal”: “One world, one language”.

Wilhelm Hansen