Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Copenhagen Art Museum

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Before visiting one of Copenhagen’s most interesting museums, most visitors puzzle over what the term “Glyptothek” is all about. The answer may lie in the legendary librarian Philipp von Lichtenthaler, who once called the collection of literary works of the Bavarian King Ludwig I “Glyptothek,” using the ancient Greek language. He understood it to mean a place of safekeeping. The most important glyptotheques are located in Munich, Athens, Zagreb and Copenhagen. There, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a center of attraction for art lovers from all over the world.

Extensive art collection

Every year, more than 350,000 people visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which was opened in 1888 and designed by Danish architects Vilhelm Dahlerup and Hack Kampmann. The museum was the brainchild of industrialist Carl Jacobsen, who lived between 1842 and 1914 and took over the holdings of an extensive art collection from his father Jacob Christian Jacobsen. The latter was the founder of the famous Danish brewery Ny Carlsberg, which also made a name for itself in the art sector with the Glyptothek in Copenhagen.

An archaeologist in Rome

Meanwhile, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek on Dante’s Plads in Copenhagen has earned a place among the world’s most important art museums. Jacobsen had returned to his home country enthusiastically after visiting the Glyptothek in Munich and chose the name of his art collection very deliberately. Several exhibits made their way to Denmark in the 19th century thanks to the support of the German archaeologist Wolfgang Helbig. Helbig was Jacobsen’s representative in Rome for the period of a quarter of a century and collected nearly a thousand Etruscan sculptures during his stay in Italy. The brewery was inundated with ancient finds mainly because numerous noble families in Rome became more and more impoverished during this era and wanted to part with their possessions.

Exhibits of the Mediterranean

About ten thousand works from Egypt, Greece, Italy and the Middle East can be admired in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. This is the most extensive collection of ancient Mediterranean art in Scandinavia. But this museum also has a wealth of 19th and 20th century French and Danish art. The collection ranges from the Impressionism of the French era to Danish Classicism. The two magnificent buildings of the Glyptothek are connected by a kind of winter garden. A popular café has also been placed there. The Carlsberg brewery still feels closely connected to this museum, which bears its name. The price of a bottle of beer includes a donation to the Glyptothek as part of a foundation.

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