Northern Europe’s Largest Repository of Art
When the Danes recently toasted the impressive renovation and new extension of their most important museum, we can only hope they did so with beer, since the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was founded by the world-famous Carlsberg Brewery.
Bequeathed to the country a century ago by beer baron Carl Jacobsen (who also gave Copenhagen its statue of the Little Mermaid in 1913), the Glyptotek has grown to become northern Europe’s largest and most important repository of ancient statuary, mosaics, and artifacts. It also owns an unrivaled collection of thirty-five works by Paul Gauguin (briefly married to a Dane), which are displayed alongside other 19th-century French and Danish masterworks by artists such as Manet, Monet, and Cézanne.
The museum also houses the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside Paris, and one of only three complete sets of Degas bronzes. The airy 1996 wing, designed by the esteemed Danish architect Henning Larsen, was unveiled during Copenhagen’s successful stint as Cultural Capital of Europe. Contemporary and cool, it holds its own against the museum’s two original late-19th-century and early-20th-century buildings with their great skylit galleries, decorative moldings, painted panels, and richly tiled floors. In the city’s highly civilized and perfectly stylized manner, the buildings are linked by a lovely glass-domed winter garden and attractive café for the weary of foot.