Famous drawings from Iceland are on their way!

20. June 2017 | The Johannes Larsen Museum


50 of Johannes Larsen’s drawings from Iceland will soon be added to the collection of the Johannes Larsen Museum. They will first be shown at an exhibition in Iceland.

The Johannes Larsen Museum has, with the help of a grant from the New Carlsberg Fund, purchased 50 of Johannes Larsen’s (1867-1961) drawings from his trips to Iceland in 1927 and 1930, out of the 300 pen and ink drawings he accomplished there. This generous donation is given in connection with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2017.

Illustrations for The Icelandic Sagas

The drawings were done as illustrations for a new edition of The Icelandic Sagas in 1930. They describe, in a matter-of-fact idiom, with sure-handed cross-hatching, the landscapes where the sagas unfolded. The beautiful, simple drawings have all been owned by the Larsen family, and it is the heirs who now are selling a representative selection of the drawings to the museum, while the rest of the drawings remain in the family.

“It is a great pleasure for the Johannes Larsen Museum to now have this Nordic cultural treasure in the museum’s collection,” says the head curator of the Johannes Larsen Museum, Mette Ladegaard Thøgersen.

Exhibition led to acquisition

The acquisition of the 50 drawings from Iceland was made possible in connection with the exhibition “A Look at Iceland”, shown at the Johannes Larsen Museum during winter 2016/17. The exhibition was a hike through the Icelandic landscape with both Johannes Larsen and the Icelandic artist, Einar Falur Ingólfsson, where Larsen’s drawings and Ingólfsson’s photographs were in beautiful and enriching dialogue with each other. In this connection, Vibeke Nørgaard Nielsen’s book, “Saga Travels”, about Johannes Larsen’s Icelandic journeys, was republished in Danish. The book was also earlier published in Icelandic.

First a quick trip back to Iceland

Interest for Johannes Larsen’s Iceland project is great. Now a selection of the newly acquired drawings is on its way to Iceland to be part of the exhibition “Land Seen - In the footsteps of Johannes Larsen” at the Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art. The exhibition will be shown there until August 20, 2017. As in the winter exhibition in Kerteminde, Larsen’s drawings and Ingólfsson’s photographs will again be juxtaposed. A curator from the Johannes Larsen Museum, Christian Kortegaard Madsen, will transport the drawings himself and represent the Johannes Larsen Museum at the opening in Iceland on May 27.


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