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Marble statues and masterpieces, mummies and Mediterranean moods. With its unique blend of art and magnificent architecture, Glyptoteket is a place for active contemplation and quiet repose. The world-class collection of art and antiquities continues to offer new perspectives on human existence, culture and civilization as seen through 6.000 years of art.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was founded by the brewer, Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914), who was one of the great industrial magnates of the 19th century and the greatest art patron Denmark has seen. Carl Jacobsen was a passionate collector. From the profits generated by his brewery Ny Carlsberg, he built a rich collection of art and cultural artefacts. In 1888 Carl Jacobsen gave his art collection to the public and began the building of Glyptoteket to house it. Another exceptional donation followed in 1899, this time of the master brewer’s vast collection of antiquities, which lead to the building of an entire new wing to the new museum.
Glyptoteket has been open to the public since 1897 and holds over 10,000 works primarily divided between ancient antiquities and Danish and French sculpture and painting from the 19th century.
Carl Jacobsen’s conviction that art could beautify, touch and enrich the lives of everyone is till the rule at Glyptoteket. Brewing magnate Jacobsen was an absolute believer in the didactic significance of art, but in contrast to the character of traditional museums he did not believe that either works of art or museum visitors should be overburdened with scientific and academic systems. Art should rather speak directly to the individual visitor. This was why Jacobsen also set great store by works which made considerable impact, most of all masterpieces with a certain monumentality.
At the same time Glyptoteket was also to be an oasis. The museum’s richly varied architecture with the Winter Garden as a fertile point of rotation should give every visitor a chance to disengage from the day-to-day, making the visit a pleasure without any sense of obligation.
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