Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and National Socialism
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is an art museum located on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk, 35 km (22 mi) north of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the most visited art museum in Denmark, and has an extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary art, dating from World War II to the present day; in addition, it has a comprehensive programme of special exhibitions. The museum is also acknowledged as a milestone in modern Danish architecture, and is noted for its synthesis of art, architecture, and landscape, such as was showcased in an installation entitled “Riverbed” shown in 2014-2015. The museum occasionally also stages exhibitions of work by the great impressionists and expressionists, e.g. Claude Monet was the focus of a major exhibition in 1994.
The museum is located by the Øresund coast in the North Zeeland region, some 30 km (19 mi) north of central Copenhagen and 10 km (6 mi) south of Elsinore. From the regional train station in Humlebæk, it takes 10-15 minutes to walk to the museum.
The name of the museum derives from the first owner of the property, Alexander Brun, who named the villa after his three wives, all called Louise. The museum was created in 1958 by Knud W. Jensen, the owner at the time. He contacted architects Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo who spent a few months walking around the property before deciding how a new construction would best fit into the landscape. This study resulted in the first version of the museum consisting of three buildings connected by glass corridors. Since then it has been extended several times until it reached its present circular shape in 1991.
In 2013, the museum’s music department launched Louisiana Music, a webpage dedicated to musical videos produced by the museum in collaboration with world-famous musicians.
Knud John Peter Wadum Jensen (7 December 1916 – 12 December 2000) was a Danish cheese wholesaler, museum founder and manager. He was also the money man behind parts of the Danish literary and artistic environment from the 1940s. He funded Wivel’s Publishing House and its journal Heretica, both run by his friend Ole Wivel. In 1952 he bought the publishing house Gyldendal (the oldest and largest publishing house in Denmark), and made Ole Wivel director. In 1954 he co-founded the association art in the workplace, where he was chairman of the board until 1961. In 1958 he founded in Humlebæk Louisiana – museum of modern art (the most visited art museum in Denmark), where he himself was director until 1991.
Jensen’s participation in the controversial association Ringen before and during World War II, including together with the poet and later Gyldendal director Ole Wivel, has provoked renewed discussion about his political beliefs in his youth.
In 1984 he was appointed honorary doctor at Lund University, in 1986 he received the Danish honorary prize Ingenio et arti by Queen Margrethe II and in 1991 he was awarded the Rungstedlund Prize.
He is buried in Humlebæk Cemetery.
Ringen (germanofil organisation)
The ring was a circle of young people who had a great fascination for German culture, especially literature. The name was inspired by Richard Wagner’s opera Nibelungen’s Ring and the poet Stefan George’s poetry collection The Seventh Ring. During the occupation 1940-1945, the members of the group flirted with National Socialism, which manifested itself in tribute poems by the young poet Ole Wivel and registration for German war service from Erik Johansen and Ole Høst. The latter fell into battle on the Eastern Front.
The existence and purpose of the ring has in recent times been the subject of great debate in Danish cultural life, as several later great Danish cultural personalities such as Ole Wivel and Knud W. Jensen have been accused of “Nazi” sympathies.
|Some of the members were Ole Wivel (author) Knud W. Jensen (later founder of Louisiana) S.H. Mikkelsen (Artist) N.H. Nielsen (Veterinary) H. Bertram (Painter) P. Tramsen (Clerk).|
Ole Wiedemann Høst (April 23, 1915 – July 20, 1943) was a Danish painter.
Ole Høst, the son of the painter Oluf Høst, received private painting lessons in Copenhagen from 1931 and in 1938 went to Paris, where he was apprenticed to Fernand Léger. He returned and became a National Socialism and joined the Ring, which was formed in 1941 and which counted Knud W. Jensen, Ole Wivel and Erik Johansen. Ole Høst and Erik Johansen got a job in a coal mine at Munich in 1941, where they joined the Waffen SS. Johansen went home, while Høst lost his life as a private in Regiment Westland (consisted mainly of Dutch volunteers) under Panzer Division Wiking on the Eastern Front in 1943.
Ole Høst and Erik Johansen were both enthusiastic about F. Waschnitius and wanted to become acquainted with Germany, and together in 1941 they travelled to a coal mine in Grube Elise near Munich, where they worked for a year before returning to Denmark again.
Both were not “Nazis”, but at the same time they were not enthusiastic about a Communist Europe either, and they saw no other way than to sign up to fight communism.
On 4 July 1944, the parents set up a “sandstone board” in their garden in Gudhjem in memory of Ole Høst.
The board can still be seen today, as the home in Gudhjem (Oluf Høst Museet).
Denmark in WWII