Those who’ve been reading our blog know that we’re lovers of the arts and architecture. Classical arts and architecture. Although often we find modern pieces very intriguing, they don’t touch us on the same level as some older specimens. As we had only just moved to Copenhagen and had a couple of free days on our hands, we were looking into day trips from the city. That was when the Louisiana Museum first appeared in our world. Initially we kept it on our list for “later”, but soon made an impromptu day trip to Louisiana Museum. And we absolutely loved it! If you’re like us and not always sure about modern art, we guarantee you that you’ll still find it worth visiting the museum for a day. Below we have compiled our impressions of and practical tips for a day trip to Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen.
Why to visit Louisiana Museum
The Louisiana Museum is one of the leading museums of Modern Art in the world. It was established in 1958 and expanded several times until the building reached its current shape in 1991. The museum is home to a very extensive permanent collection and hosts a variety of first-class temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Not only is it the second most visited museum in Denmark, it is also the 85th most visited museum in the world, and included in Patricia Schultz’ book “1000 Places to See before You Die”.
In addition to the fabulous exhibitions the museum also offers one of the most stunning views of the Nivå bay and Sweden’s coast line. The gardens are home to a sculpture park and the café offers delicious brunch. If you love modern art, you will adore this museum. If you are not into modern art, you will soon see that there is more to it than just “squiggly lines” 😉
When to visit Louisiana Museum
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist destinations and open throughout the year. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays, during Christmas, and New Year’s. From Tuesday to Friday the museum is open between 11 and 22. On the weekends between 11 and 18. It is probably a good idea to come early during the day, although during summer you’ll still have to wait in line for a couple of minutes.
How to Get to Louisiana Museum
Getting to Louisiana Museum from Copenhagen is relatively easy. We recommend that you visit the museum by train. Louisiana is located in Humlebæk, about 35 km north of Copenhagen. From Copenhagen Central Station (København H) take any of the trains heading towards Helsingør. They depart every 20 minutes approximately. A 24h tourist ticket for all the zones costs 130 DKK. Get off at Humlebæk/Louisiana and follow the signs towards the museum. You’ll be walking for about 10-15 minutes on flat terrain. Admission to the museum is 125 DKK for adults.
The exhibitions at Louisiana Museum
We visited Louisiana Museum in the end of August. In addition to their current edition of the permanent exhibition, the museum was also hosting 2 temporary exhibitions, “Academy of Tal R” and “The Cleaner”. We went in without any prior knowledge of the exhibitions or the artists whose work was on display and decided to just keep an open mind.
Landscape Still Life Portrait
This exhibition is a presentation of selected works from the Louisiana Collection. It is what we would call a permanent exhibition, although the selection of artwork varies throughout the year. In total the collection eclipses about 4000 items. During this summer the exhibition in the West Wing featured works from the 3 most cultivated genres in the fine arts. With them being such classical genres it was interesting to see how new life was instilled into them by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and many more. It is a collection very accessible even to those with little knowledge of art history and allows the viewer to form an instant connection with the art work.
For us, this was probably the favorite exhibition in the entire museum and we’ll be back in the future to see other presentations of the Louisiana Collection.
After we had explored the West Wing, we ventured through the boutique shop into the South Wing which was hosting an exhibition called “The Cleaner” at the time. Little did we know that this exhibition was actually a retrospective presentation of Marina Abramovic‘s lifetime work. Marina Abramovic is considered a pioneer of body and performance art and her work has been an integral figure in the art world since the 1970’s. She is best known for physically and mentally demanding performances which revolve around her actual self and her body. The exhibition features more than 100 works, including collaborative pieces between her and her former partner Ulay.
As we were walking up and down the entire South Wing we experienced a wide range of emotions. Abramovic’ work is provocative and sometimes perhaps even repulsive. With violence, pain and sexuality being common themes, we often felt uncomfortable and challenged in what we perceive as “normal”. It was a very interesting exhibition and we firmly believe that the artist’s works inspired us to look a bit deeper inside ourselves. One of the most challenging pieces is the re-performance of one of her earlier works, “Imponderabilia” (performed 11-21 during the week and 11-17 during weekends).
Academy of Tal R
This exhibition is currently located in the East Wing, the Hall Gallery, and the Column Gallery. Tal R is a Danish artist with a taste for the whimsical. His work offered a welcome reprieve after the dark motifs in Abramovic’ work which had left us mentally drained. His work appears unacademic and lighthearted. We particularly enjoyed the mixed media pieces and the boldness of colors in his works.
Gleaming Lights of the Souls
Ah, we didn’t tell you about this tidbit before, did we? 😉 Gleaming Lights of the Souls is a permanent installation at the Louisiana Museum by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The installation consists of a single space, a 4 by 4 meter room entirely covered in mirrors. As the viewer you stand on a little platform surrounded by water. Hanging from the ceiling are hundreds of lights which change color ever so subtly and are reflected what seems to be a million times in the room’s mirrors. It is absolutely stunning and well worth the wait.
In order to access the room you’ll have to wait in a short queue. Four people can access the room at a time and you have 1 minute before you need to make space for the next visitors. So have your cameras ready before you go in 🙂
The Sculpture Park
A visit to the Louisiana Museum could not be complete without a walk around the Sculpture Park. What we particularly liked about it was that the sculptures were not imposing on the serenity of the gardens. You can wander around aimlessly and ponder over the meaning of the sculptures for a minute or two before you take a seat and enjoy the beautiful view over the Baltic Sea and the Swedish coast.
Conclusion: Is A Day Trip to Louisiana Museum Worth It?
Yes, yes, and yes. Whether you are into art or not. Whether you are into museums or not. This is a place not to miss when you come to Copenhagen. It may be a bit out-of-the-way and a bit pricey on top of that. But if you’re going to visit just one museum in Denmark, make it this one! 🙂
Now what do you think? Have you visited the museum before? What are your thoughts on modern art? What’s the best exhibition you’ve been to? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!