Located about 40 kilometers north of Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum is without a doubt one of the most beautiful museums in the world.

More than a museum, it represents a real place of life for art and nature lovers.

Let's discover the Louisiana Museum, a museum of modern and contemporary art that offers its visitors a subtle and refined mix of green gardens, breathtaking architecture and an international art collection.

Art Shortlist
by Art Shortlist - June 17, 2022

A museum easily accessible from Copenhagen

The Louisiana Museum is based in the Danish town of Humlebæk, a small town only 35 minutes from downtown Copenhagen. As you read this article, you might be wondering if it is worth the trip, let's answer that question right away: yes!

To get there, all you have to do is get off at the Humlebæk train station, and then you'll have a short walk before arriving in this earthly paradise made in Denmark.

The history of the museum

The name was given by the first owner of the place, a certain Alexander Brun, who named his 19th century villa after the first names of his three wives, all of whom were named "Louise".

This now world-famous institution was founded in 1958 by Knud W. Jensen, who wanted to create a place where the Danes could discover and admire masterpieces of modern and contemporary art in a unique setting, it was a risky and ambitious bet since no museum of this kind existed before in Denmark.

To build the museum, Knud W. Jensen called upon two local architects: Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert. Before starting the work, the architects took a few weeks to walk around the property in order to imagine the final aspect of the construction, the goal was also to respect nature and this postcard landscape.

The first version of the museum was composed of three buildings connected by glass corridors. The museum was later expanded in 1991 to its present circular shape.

A special visit

Here is the current floor plan of the museum to better understand how it is organized:

What is most striking about visiting Louisiana for the first time is the fact that there is no real clear direction for the visit, in fact, the visit is entirely self-guided. You can start by going to the sculpture gardens, or you can visit the current temporary exhibition or the permanent collection. For us, Louisiana is synonymous of freedom, a freedom to walk in a magical place that has the virtue of fluidity of the visit, visitors being better distributed on the site which considerably improves the experience.

The modernity of Louisiana is just impressive, beyond the works and the museum tour, it is a unique experience to live at least once in his life.

An XXL collection and top class temporary exhibitions

The museum holds a collection of over 3500 artworks, a wide range of paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs and installations dating from World War II to the present.

A room dedicated to Alberto Giacometti

The museum features works by major artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Ai Weiwei, David Hockney, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kieffer, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, Ben and the list goes on.

Note also that the museum has a special focus on Danish art with works from the CoBrA movement, creations of artists such as Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Egill Jacobsen, Henry Heerup.

In addition to this impressive collection of modern art, the Danish cultural institution has a collection of pre-Columbian art, more than 400 objects donated in 2001 by the Wessel-Bagge Foundation. These works come from the personal collection of Niels-Wessel Bagge, a famous dancer and choreographer who lived in California.

Despite its success, the museum does not wish to become complacent, which is in keeping with the philosophy of its founding father: "We frequently reinvent our display, creating a strong focus on a few artists." Knud W. Jensen, in his book Louisiana, the Collection and the Buildings, 1985.

More than a museum

Since the Louisiana Museum was established in 1958, generations of Danes have been able to immerse themselves in works of art by internationally recognized artists, the museum's founder gave the museum a very special soul, a soul that can still be felt today. Jensen thus imagined a place where art can be admired, but not only, it can be lived, felt.

Nestled on the shores of the Baltic Sea, the Louisiana Museum has several restaurants, stores and even a multi-purpose hall for conferences, concerts and other performances. 

Plan on spending at least half a day there to fully enjoy this green and artistic space.

"At Louisiana, everything is immediate and everything is home. The landscape belongs to the museum and the museum to the landscape. The trees come into the rooms, play with the glass walls and the works." Jean Nouvel

Some must-see works on site

Francis Bacon

Andy Warhol

César and Jean Dubuffet

Max Ernst

David Hockney

Yayoi Kusama

Gerhard Richter