John Olsen 80 years old

Tid: March 23, 2018 and the year out
Sted: The Johannes Larsen Museum

Experience John Olsen’s bird-skin drawings on the occasion of his birthday.
John Olsen’s beautiful and alert eider duck in bronze has, since 2013, welcomed visitors to the Johannes Larsen Museum at the foot of Møllebakken (Mill Hill). Now we will welcome the “birthday boy” back to Møllebakken and show his 7 bird-skin drawings, as John Olsen created them for the museum in 2001 - plus a new work of art.

“Life wants”, says John Olsen, who, as artist and nature-dramatist has followed the heritage of Johannes Larsen, whom he visited as a young man at Møllebakken. Like Johannes Larsen, Olsen has a great love of nature and works with nature experiences and nature observations - or in short, the relationship between people and nature, with art as the interpretive link.

John Olsen moves within a wide universe of media: etchings, charcoal, pigment and ink, sweat-drawings, photos, sculpture and “wonder-cabinets” with collections of natural objects.

About the bird-skin works of art
“At the Sign of the Bird” are seven bird-skins drawn in a very large format, created in charcoal, pigment and pastel by John Olsen for the opening of the exhibition building, Vingen (The Wing) at the Johannes Larsen Museum in 2001. Like the magical “cloak of feathers” in the old folk songs, the works can be interpreted as both birds and people in one, as well as referring to angels and to death.  Changing and perishing. They are specific birds from Nordic nature, which in sculptural form and with the stress on the structure of the feathers, turn their backs on the viewer. The Nordic raven, the male Black Grouse, and the Great Northern Diver.

Cabinets of Wonder in the Fairy Tale Room
During his entire life, John Olsen has connected his mania for collecting with nature art, which has come to artistic expression through Cabinets of Wonder. He presented these publically for the first time in the 1980’s. The aesthetics of decay, the way of all flesh, life and death are expressed here through finds of animal mummies, feathers and wings, skeletons, stones, wood and dried plants are neatly placed in cabinets, in the style of Renaissance-era collections of rare things and natural oddities.

A child’s possibility for using all his or her senses, for learning to look at art and to express him or herself, are ideas that have interested the artist greatly throughout his life. Inspired by John Olsen, the Johannes Larsen Museum will exhibit Cabinets of Wonder for the rest of 2018. Children’s own finds of natural objects will be displayed in an ingenious way in these cabinets.


The Lost Time: Cultural Ramblings
June 8 - September 22, 2019
Johannes Larsen Museum

Major anniversary exhibition in connection with Peter Brandes’ 75th birthday.

Funen Spring
July 6 - October 6, 2019
Johannes Larsen Museum

The Funen Spring Exhibition celebrates 90 years.

BIRD 2019
September 28, 2019 - January 26, 2020
Johannes Larsen Museum

A new exhibition focuses on birds in art in the year 2019!


Enrichment of the Larsen Collection
5. March 2019
Johannes Larsen Museum

A new sketch of a stone marten was donated to the Museum.

New leader: “It’s a privilege”
5. March 2019
Johannes Larsen Museum

New head of department at the Johannes Larsen Museum

What would we do without you
3. December 2018
Johannes Larsen Museet

We are so fortunate to have many volunteers connected to the museum, who help us with many things.

Piggy bank for the history of snaps
26. October 2018
Johannes Larsen Museum

The Snaps Pig has just been published in a handsome new edition with a foreword by Johannes Larsen’s grandson, who carries on the traditions and recipes for spiced aquavit from his grandfather.