Garden by the Sea

Tid: April 1 - August 27, 2017
Sted: The Johannes Larsen Museum

Experience a tribute to the garden and to art.

With the garden as its space, motif, genre, its memory, taste, feel and form, the Johannes Larsen Museum invites you to this year’s big anniversary exhibition in honour of Johannes Larsens birth 150 years ago.

The garden and life in this garden right by the sea in Kerteminde was the pivotal point for Alhed and Johannes Larsen’s life and a very significant part of both of their artistic work. The garden was their living space, their interest, food source, paradise and inspiration.

Together, the house (designed by architect Ulrik Plesner and built in 1901) and garden were a “Gesamtkunstwerk” - the Larsens’ biggest work of art. At Møllebakken (on Mill Hill), the big natural garden was used as a social space and as a motif - lyrically interpreted by both Alhed and Johannes. The garden itself was a little paradise and at the same time a transitional zone and a connector between the home and untamed nature.

Just a kilometer (0.6 mi.) from Møllebakken - at Pilegården (Willow Farm) - lived Anna and Fritz Syberg, artist colleagues and close friends of Alhed and Johannes. Their garden was also a living space and a great inspiration.

Art, nature and gardening 

With the exhibition “Garden by the Sea”, art, nature and gardening will be united and acclaimed; this fusion that Karen Syberg, Anna and Fritz Syberg’s granddaughter, describes in her book, Between Crab Apples and Goutweed, from 2014, page 20:

“Deep down, art has to do with the relationship between eternity and the transience of existence; the garden lives in that. The garden is the space that finds itself between eternity and transience, always oscillating between those two poles. In no other place do culture and nature collide so head on as in the garden.”

Primarily through artwork by Johannes Larsen and Fritz Syberg, the exhibition draws a picture of their gardens in Kerteminde, which both can be seen as ideal examples of the the Funish and eastern Danish lush garden - a picture that Larsen and Syberg spread out to the whole country.

The exhibition will also show works by Alhed Larsen, Anna Syberg, Christine Swane, Sigurd Swane and Alhed and Johannes Larsen’s grandson, Jeppe Larsen.

The seven gardens

Thematically, the exhibition will focus on seven gardens:

  1. The garden of childhood
  2. Icons of the garden
  3. The animal garden
  4. The garden of Eden
  5. The garden of death
  6. The flower garden
  7. The kitchen garden

The garden of childhood has stored up lots of memories, but also fantasy and play. The icons of the garden focus on the elements and themes artists work with over and over, until the elements become iconic.

In the animal garden, which primarily concerns the Larsens’ garden, we meet the many animals that Johannes Larsen loved. Then we go on a journey to the special paradise that existed in both gardens, at Møllebakken and at Pilegården, both symbolically and literally, as the garden of Eden. The dismal garden of death can be experienced in Fritz Syberg’s art.

The flower garden provided a breeding ground for beautiful motifs, and last but not least, the kitchen gardens played a major role for both the Larsen and Syberg families. They had vegetable gardens and apple orchards, and in both families, good ingredients were considered very important. They followed the garden-to-table principal.


We will enliven the exhibition with lots of activites for all ages, outdoor as well as indoor. Lectures, music, food, taste and good times. 


The Larsen Heritage
July 1 til September 3, 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Works by Kamilla Talbot and Michael Herstand

Family workshop: Decorate a pot and plant a tree
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Work with abstract forms like Christine Swane

Family Workshop: Bird kites
Sunday, August 27, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Get inspired by Johannes Larsen’s birds and then build your own kite.

Concert: 1917 AD
Thursday, September 28, 7 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museet

How does a year sound?


Unique opportunity: Syberg’s studio is open
26. June 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

In connection with the anniversary exhibition “Garden by the Sea”, you now can experience something unique: Fritz Syberg’s studio.

Lots of activities for families at the Larsen Museum during this summer
26. June 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

We always have activities for kids. But this summer, we’re shifting into higher gear. Our program is filled with activities the whole summer.

The Minister of Culture visits the opening of Garden by the Sea
20. June 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

We at the Johannes Larsen Museum were rather proud to be able to welcome Minister of Culture, Mette Bock, when she came and held the opening speech for this year’s big anniversary exhibition, Garden by the Sea

Six stars to Garden by the Sea
20. June 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Under the headline “Summer came in April”, the newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende (Funen’s Diocese Times) gave a really fine review of our exhibition, Garden by the Sea