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. 


Owls in the garden
Sunday, May 28, 11 AM-3 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

We will celebrate Day of the Birds at the Johannes Larsen Museum with a visit from the Owlery.

Family workshop: Draw and paint your favorite animal
Sunday, May 28, 11 AM-3 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Is it longhaired, shorthaired? Does it have feathers or fur?

St. Hans Eve /Summer Solstice on Mill Hill (Møllebakken)
Friday, June 23, 5:00 - 8:00 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

Enjoy the solstice in Larsen’s garden with art, a picnic, campfire, singing and music.

Open House at the Johannes Larsen Museum
Sunday, July 23 from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Johannes Larsen Museum

We will serve champagne and cherry marzipan ring cake!


Alhed’s Apple Blossoms fetched from Sweden
29. March 2017

At the moment, works for the exhibition “The Garden by the Sea” are being gathered together.

Sybergland seen from Villa Wheel-legs
20. March 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

The Municipality of Kerteminde has gotten inspired by painter Fritz Syberg’s little house on wheels, Villa Wheel-legs, for use at the new recreational nature preserve, Sybergland.

Birthday present from the Albani Foundation
15. March 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

A major contribution from the Albani Foundation will assure that the 150th anniversary of Johannes Larsen’s birth will be fittingly celebrated.

A new work from PAX acquired by the museum
15. March 2017
The Johannes Larsen Museum

A fine little pen-and-ink drawing from 1955 gives new insight into where the PAX-collection at the Johannes Larsen Museum comes from.