Vejle Art Museum
Art is inspiration! It is the vitamins and spice of life. Art is beautiful. Fun. Exciting. And not least, challenging!
Vejle Art Museum invites everyone to experience art that is based on and has relevance in everyday life. The art museum’s stories are recognisable and provide a different look at the world around us. Sometimes it is big, other times it is small, but there is always something that leaves its mark! Pull your family off the couch or take a good friend by the arm and spend a few inspiring hours at Vejle Art Museum.
In our exhibitions you can experience a large collection of graphic works, the Golden Age’s constructed realities, portrait art of all kinds, and expressionist art from a group of Danish artists who would later form the Cobra movement with Asger Jorn at the forefront.
It started in 1890
The seed for Vejle Art Museum’s collection was sown in the 1890s, when private citizens donated finds and acquisitions to establish a museum with public access for all citizens. The first permanent museum building from 1924 was donated by Agnes Benteline Hviid and could be converted into apartments for single ladies if the museum project did not work out. Fortunately, it did, and in 1933 an extension was built, which served as a library as well as a museum. In 2007, the latest extension, designed by Kim Utzon Architects, opened, giving the museum a large hall for special exhibitions and space for storage and workshop.
Large collection and permanent exhibitions
Vejle Art Museum’s large collection consists of graphic art, paintings and sculptures.
The museum is a leader in graphics and works on paper with the second largest collection of graphic works in Denmark. The graphics collection was founded in 1899, when Councillor Christian Eckardt bequeathed his collection of old European graphics and drawings by his contemporary Danish artists to the museum.
The approx. 2000 works include 51 etchings by Rembrandt and graphic prints by some of history’s most famous artists. Eckardt’s collection contains works from 1470 till the end of the 19th century. The museum’s graphics collection has expanded over the years and includes significant works, showing the new trends in contemporary art.
The paintings collection, primarily from 1800 to the present day, is mainly centred on existential themes and depictions of landscape and townscape. Here, the focus is on civilization, nature and culture. Portraits of people are a universal theme in visual art in general and well represented at the Vejle Art Museum. Looking at and reflecting in other people is always interesting, not least in visual culture today. Another theme in the collection is the construction of the reality or realities that we are parts of. Portraits, but also landscapes, can, underneath their surface, contain more or less visible narratives that reflect world views and even political messages.
In 1995, Vejle Art Museum acquired the large Wörzner collection. The collection consists of 124 paintings, sculptures, watercolours and pastels, made by young, experimental artists from the late 1930s to 1945. The works were purchased by butcher Max Wörzner, who had a keen eye for his contemporary generation of young artists.
The collection shows how the new, expressive and spontaneous way of painting developed through experiments. Later, in 1948, with Asger Jorn at the forefront, they initiated the international artist movement Cobra with other European artists. The Wörzner collection visualizes the crucial artistic experiments that preceded Cobra.
The Art Museum’s presentation of sculptures, primarily from 1900 to the present, traverses time, styles and periods. Sculptures reach into the room and are sensed by the body. Therefore, the museum’s sculpture room allows you to experience the sculptures from different angles and distances while the body is in motion.
Exciting special exhibitions
In Vejle Art Museum’s large exhibition room, the Utzon Hall, two special exhibitions are shown per year. These can be solo or group exhibitions, where new and relevant themes are explored through borrowed works or brand-new works created for the exhibition. The Utzon Hall is named after architect Kim Utzon.
Maskinrummet (The engine room) is the museum’s small exhibition space. Here we show the audience what goes on behind the scenes. In Maskinrummet, the focus is on user-involved projects, artistic processes and exhibitions relating to the town and the area around Vejle. The exhibitions are usually only on display for 1-3 months.
Please note that special exhibitions and events below is in danish.