Research at Ordrupgaard
Research at Ordrupgaard Museum is based on the activities and overall profile of the museum.

Research project: Collecting the Modern. Ordrupgaard and the International Collector’s Museums

Three-year PhD-project, 2012-2015

In order to shed new light on the early history of the collection, Ordrupgaard initiated a PhD-project together with Arhus University in 2012. In the following three years, PhD Fellow Rasmus Kjærboe researches the national and international parallels to the unique collection of French modernism established by Wilhelm Hansen (1868-1936) in Ordrup, just north of Copenhagen, during the years 1916 to 1918. Throughout the project, a range of current theoretical and methodological perspectives are employed along with an extensive museological material with a global perspective. The overall aim is to show how Ordrupgaard is situated in relation to an important field of collector’s museums in Europe and the US, and to present the first integrated study of how painterly modernism was promoted through privately founded museums. The project is supported by Ny Carlsbergfondet.

Click here for research profile at Aarhus University website.

 Click here to read Rasmus Kjærboe’s article in Museum and Society

The article presents and analyses Ordrupgaard as it could be experienced around 1918-1922. It is thereby the first scholarly reconstruction and analysis of this important, major collection of French impressionism as an exhibition and emerging museum institution. The article shows that the total arrangement of paintings, the architecture and the gardens was far from neutral but deliberately celebrated a good, bourgeois and middleclass life. By engaging recent developments in museums studies and art history, Ordrupgaard is found to be a key example of early, private museums of modernism in Europe and the US.

Research project: Camille Pissarro and Fritz Melbye

The prominent Impressionist innovator, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), received his initial and very thorough training from the Danish painter Fritz Melbye (1826-1869). Though their early journeys through the West Indies and Venezuela are well known, no systematic analysis of their collaboration and mutual inspiration has ever been undertaken. The project is therefore an ongoing effort of international scope in order to collect and interpret material on the relationship between Pissarro and Melbye. Of special interest is the connection between the young Danish-French painter’s first education, which took place inside a Danish pictorial tradition, and his later development leading to French Impressionism.

Museum Director Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark

Recently completed research: Research-based catalogue of the collection of French art.

More than twelve years of painstaking research into the art works in the French collection has been gathered in the catalogue raisonné, documenting all available information on every painting, sculpture, drawing and print owned by the museum. The catalogue presents full colour reproductions of all artworks along with complete references to literature and a bibliography of the museum. The long ongoing research into provenance, archival material and related studies have been generously supported throughout by private and public funding. French Art at Ordrupgaard. Research-based catalogue, 2011.

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