2012 is shaping up to be a great year for Copenhagen’s national gallery, Statens Museum for Kunst. In addition to a fresh new hanging for its extensive permanent collection, it's also showing the Matisse retrospective that wowed Paris earlier this year.
The entrance to Statens Museum for Kunst during springtime. — Photo courtesy of SMK
Located north of Copenhagen’s Nørreport station, Statens Museum for Kunst is part formidable old red brick building from 1896, part modern extension completed in 1998 and joined ingeniously at ground level by the magnificent Sculpture Street.
The new plan for the museum’s permanent collection allows visitors a simple overview of the 900 years of European art on display. The bulk of the collection is found on the second floor, with the collection European Art from 1300-1800 on one side and Danish and Nordic Art from 1750-1900 on the other. Spread along the modern annex, the contemporary collection Danish and international Art after 1900 also continues up on the third floor.
Other permanent fixtures at the museum continue as before, such as the experimental X-Room, children’s workshop and Sunday’s guided tours for families, as well as the airy cafe (with great views of the lake) and well-stocked bookstore.
Planned for 2013, meanwhile, is a massive renovation of the park area in front of Statens Museum. Architectural firm Polyform’s winning design should loosen up Østre Anlæg’s stiffly formal baroque features to bring them into the 21st century, with a dynamic green area that welcomes visitors and inspires creativity.
An extra nibble for visitors arriving before October 28, 2012 is the chance to see visiting exhibition Matisse – Doubles and Variations, presented in collaboration with Paris’ Centre Pompidou and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show, which received a record half-million visitors at Paris’ Pompidou Centre, includes an enormous amount of work by the French painter, hung in series and pairs only rarely exhibited together.
The museum has not only updated its actual collection, but also its virtual one, with iPods available on loan to guide you digitally as well as physically through the exhibitions.
Admission to Statens Museum for Kunst is free, though entrance to the summer/fall Matisse show costs DKK 95. Closed on Mondays.