SMK Statens Museum for Kunst

Roughly put, the SMK is the Danish equivalent of the Kunsthistorisches Museum - there is a large collection of older, European art, and the building’s architecture and the collections’ intent are similar. What sets it off is the Nordic emphasis: there is a section for Danish and generally Nordic art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and another one for the later 20th century, which also includes contemporary art, i.e. extends into the 21st century. Among them are some "icons", such as paintings by Vilhelm Hammershøi, perhaps seen on photographs, but in reality, naturally, another story altogether, so fine and thin are the layers of paint. There are also some pictures by Albert Edelfeldt, Christen Købke and even Edvard Munch. The contemporary section includes works by Per Kirkeby, TAL R, and a more recent, unusual painting by Sergej Jensen.

The current temporary exhibition (until 24.5.2020) is dedicated to the work of the Danish artist Anna Ancher, and is the largest retrospective of the Skagen painter to date, who perceptionally rather stayed in her husband’s shadow. In her paintings - unsurprisingly - light plays a major role; they show everyday scenes, and, similar to Helene Schjerfbeck, portraits of people close to her, such as her mother. What is special about the exhibition, however, is its interactive approach: visitors are encouraged to ask the artist questions on prepared pieces of paper, which are then answered by the curatorial team. That is to say, a large part of the questions had been asked and answered before the exhibition’s start, and the very attractive (Scandinavian design!) sheets are made available to the guests now.

As another temporary exhibition (until May 10th), a selection of works from the royal collection of graphic art can be visited, including, for example, "Adam and Eve" by Albrecht Dürer, or - more recent - lithographs by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.





Julia Maurer






SMK Statens Museum for Kunst / Dänische Nationalgalerie

Sølvgade 48-50

1307 Copenhagen K











Header, 1: Guest at SMK.

2: Vilhelm Hammershøi, “Stue i Strandgade med solskin på gulvet, 1901. SMK

3: Anna Ancher, “I middagsstunden”, 1914, Sorø Kunstmuseum. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. SMK 2020

4: Per Kirkeby, “Uden titel”, 1992