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SMK (The National gallery of Denmark)
SMK is the largest art museum in Denmark. The collections show a rich and varied selection of art – from the European classics of the Renaissance to the overwhelming diversity of modern and contemporary art.
The history of the museum is inextricably bound up with the history of the art collections amassed by Danish monarchs. That is why the story of the museum does not begin with the building in Sølvgade, but hundreds of years before that with the art chambers of the Danish monarchs.
SMK is especially famous for its beautiful collection of Danish Golden Age art, the country’s most comprehensive collection of Danish contemporary art – and one of the world’s best Matisse collections.
The museum architecture
The museum architecture is a marriage of old and new and an attraction in itself. The old museum building dates back to 1896 and was designed by the architect
J. Vilhelm Dahlerup. This building reflects the exuberant joy – so typical of the period – taken in mixing several historical styles. This is most clearly evident from the richly decorated facade and the imposing entrance, which makes for a solemn transition from the outside world into the museum collections.
The museum was short of space from the very beginning. And in 1998 an extension has provided the museum with a significant – and much-needed – increase in the exhibition space available. The magnificent, modernist extension building is situated in parallel with Dahlerup's old museum, opening the house up towards the surrounding parkland. The architect Anna Maria Indrio from the major Danish firm of architects C.F. Møllers tegnestue created the new architecture.
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