gingham - furniture under wraps

A major exhibition on art in Denmark in the first half of the 19th century - the Golden Age of Danish art - has just opened at Statens Museum for Kunst - the National Gallery in Copenhagen.

It sets the paintings in the context of the political history of a period bookended by war and looks at the influence of the Royal Academy; at teaching; at the influence of travel as Danish artists went abroad, to Italy in particular, and looks at how the artists lived and worked … with paintings and drawings of artists at work in their studios.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to look at paintings as a record of life in the city, with paintings that record interiors and streetscapes that have gone or have been changed dramatically.

This painting by Martinus Rørbye from 1827 shows his teacher, The Painter Christian August Lorentzen and is on loan for the exhibition from the Nivagaard Collection.

Note the old arm chair that appears to have been covered originally in green silk but by the time it has been moved to the studio of the artist it appears to be permanently covered in its gingham slip covers.

In England at this period, wealthy landowners spent time away from their main houses in the country and lived in houses in London or they travelled “for the season” to cities like Bath or Harrogate or even to the seaside at Brighton, and when they were elsewhere, their homes were shut up and expensive furniture was usually protected with slip covers in calico or heavy cotton - often in gingham. There could even be long thin bags in the material that were drawn up around heavy silk curtains and secured at the top with tapes or plain ribbons. Presumably, in Denmark, the wealthy followed the same or similar habits of housekeeping but as silk covers got dirty or frayed - silk splits or breaks apart with strong sunlight - then these temporary covers, made to fit the specific chair, would have become more practical and permanent.

Note the construction of the chair with low-set and staggered stretchers between the legs … set higher at the front, where you tuck your feet back under as you stand up, and at the back than at the sides so the legs are not made weaker by putting the mortices for the ends of the stretchers too close together. The L-shaped arm rest is a crude precursor of the ‘classic’ mid 20th-century chair by Ole Wanscher.

The fur-lined leather slippers are fantastic.

Danish Golden Art - World-class art between disasters continues at
Statens Mueum for Kunst in Copenhagen
until 8 December 2019




Gingham is a distinct material with a small pattern of squares that is created in the weave and is generally in strong simple colours so red and white or blue and white or strong yellow and white squares. It is perhaps more popular now in Sweden than in Denmark.

restored sculpture

The grand entrance to the Royal Danish Theatre on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen is flanked by statues of seated figures from the history of Danish drama and literature.

To the right, is the Norwegian author, philosopher and playwright Ludwig Holberg (1684-1754) by the Danish sculptor Theobald Stein (1829-1901) - a professor at the Royal Danish Academy, nearby on this square. The bronze statue is dated 1875.

On the left of the entrance is the Danish poet and playwright Adam Oehlenschläger (1779-1850) by the sculptor H W Bissen (1798-1868) and that work is dated 1861.

Over the summer both were boxed in behind large wooden cases as the two bronze figures were restored and they have recently been revealed free of verdigris and with all the details now clear.

I have walked past these figures thousands of times but not looked or, at least, not looked properly at them. Struck by the transformation it was clear that both show remarkable details of not only the clothing worn but also the chairs and their construction. Holberg is sitting on an ornate arm chair with carved cabriole legs and with the upholstery fixed with round-headed nails and Oehlenschläger is sitting on what is called a Klismos Chair with a pronounced outward curve or splay to the legs. That chair has loose cushions for the seat and back that are obviously leather but I was curious about the classical style roundels on the seat rails that suggest an interesting carpenters join where the rail is housed into a marked shoulder on the leg.

But what really astounded me, looking up underneath the seats, was that both sculptors had shown the linen webbing that would have supported the seat cushion. They even sag under the weight of the sitter. That’s super realism above and beyond and I must now check this out on other statues. I’m an art historian but not one who has ever written much about sculpture, apart from an odd essay or two at university, so if you see someone around the city peering up at the underside of statues it’s not someone with a disturbing fetish but simply me looking to see if the sculptor has recorded any interesting construction details in historic furniture. Honest.


Ludwig Holberg (1684-1754) by the Danish sculptor Theobald Stein (1829-1901)


Adam Oehlenschläger (1779-1850) by the sculptor H W Bissen (1798-1868)


additional notes

The Royal Danish Theatre was founded in November 1747 by royal decree and the foundation stones laid in July 1748 with the first performance given in December the same year. Who says that major building projects always come in late?

That building was designed by Nicolai Eigtved and is shown on historic engravings and drawings but was remodelled several times before the present theatre on the same site was designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup and Ove Petersen among others on a committee set up to oversee rebuilding in the 1870s.

Klismos-type chairs are depicted in art around the city …. this is a decorative panel in Thorvaldsens Museum from the middle of the 19th century.

where do all the tourists go?

Over the last year or so, I have detected a change of attitude about tourism in the city. 

Tourists and visitors to the city, coming for business or for conferences and events, are still an important source of revenue - many in the city are employed in holiday industries, in the hotels, in restaurants and of course shops rely, to some extent, on tourists shopping - but there have been articles in newspapers recently that have stared to question the benefits of tourism and look at the benefits weighed against the cost. 

Pressures from the numbers of tourists visiting Copenhagen are not yet as marked as the more obvious and better publicised problems in cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona or Venice but certainly people have started to question the impact from Airbnb - particularly where complete apartments are now let through much of the year so this has begun to distort the long-term rental market - and some journalists have asked questions about the number of large cruise ships that stop here and about the impact they have through pollution. But the main criticism is that disproportionate numbers of visitors in the city focus their time on remarkably few sites so crowds of tourists are concentrated in areas like Strøget - the Walking Street - Nyhavn, parts of Christianshavn and along the harbour around the Little Mermaid and these parts of the city can be unpleasantly crowded, not just for local people but actually for visitors as well.

There is also a problem with tour buses that want to drop passengers close to main sites but then park waiting for their passengers to return either blocking the bus stops for public transport or by blocking the front of buildings the visitors actually want to see. Recently, I wanted to take a photograph of the front of the Royal Theatre on Kongens Nytorv for a post here but over three days there were at least two tourist buses parked across the front each time I went past.


By coincidence, thinking about this post, I came across a fascinating article on line by Colin Marshall on the Open Culture site from June of this year. He wrote there about 136 maps of major cities across the world produced for a project called Locals and Tourists and published in a larger project The Geotaggers’ World Atlas, by Eric Fisher who has used MapBox, Twitter and data from Gnip to plot photographs taken of cities that have been uploaded to the internet. 

The central area of the Copenhagen map is reproduced here with red indicating photographs that appear to have been taken by tourists while blue are images that are probably by local people - determined primarily because they are Tweeting from the same location for at least a month - and yellow could be either.

When data is presented in this way, it is easy to see the densely-packed areas where most photographs were taken with Nyhavn - the long rectangle at the centre of the map that extends up to large blob that marks Kongens Nytorv - the large public square at the city end of the New Harbour - and just above that there is the distinct shape of the royal palace with the circle of the main square and long narrow strips running out to the right to the harbour in one direction and to the Marble Church in the other. The large public square in front of city hall and, nearby, Tivoli are the densely-packed but slightly more scattered areas of red on the left side of the city centre.

Roads can be picked out clearly and give a framework for location and one interesting feature of the complete map, right, that shows the wider area around the city, is the long narrow line of yellow that is the railway bridge across to Malmö with good and photogenic views of the sound.

The data was collected in 2013 but more recent published data from 2017 corroborates the general conclusions. In that year, there were around 7 million visitors to the city and more than 60% included Nyhavn in their trip so, by rough calculation, that suggests that the number of visitors walking up and down Nyhavn in a year was equal, approximately, to the total population of the country.

With the opening of a new bridge from the end of Nyhavn for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the harbour to Christianshavn, Nyhavn has become not just a destination but also a major route. Shops close to the harbour on the west side of Nyhavn have seen a marked and welcome increase in business and for several shops it has meant the difference between declining trade and the possibility of a failing business before the bridge opened and surviving now.

But an article in Politiken by Søren Astrup in September 2017 pointed out that, even at that early stage, not long after the bridge opened, there was an obvious problem with the possibility for accidents as tourists, looking at maps or at the view or busy chatting came into contact with fast moving bike traffic. Planners are responsible for road markings and barriers and some changes have been made, particularly at the bottom of the bridge on the city side, but tourists also have a responsibility and have to learn to be more aware.

This is particularly true of the green man system at traffic lights that in too many cities seem to be treated as respect-it-or-ingnore-it advice rather than as an instruction but, because biking is taken seriously here, many cyclists are heading to or from work, can be in a hurry, and many cycle long distances so when you get up momentum (speed) you do not appreciate a tourist sauntering into the bike lane to take a better photo or stepping out onto a crossing because it sounds clear …. ie they can’t hear a car so step out without looking.

The real problem in Nyhavn is people taking photographs and particularly selfies. Most tourists would say well that is pretty harmless and surely it doesn’t hurt locals to wait just a few seconds while they get that perfect shot. 

But I’m much less tolerant of selfies now I have actually moved to an apartment on Nyhavn.

I have deliberately changed my behaviour to walk down the shady side when possible, although I live on the sunny side, simply because there are slightly less people taking photos. It may be your once in a life time shot but for me, heading to the metro, it may well be the ninth or tenth time I’ve had to walk out into the road in just over 100 metres to get around a selfish-selfie taker. 

Do people taking selfies realise just how much space they take up on a narrow or crowded path with or without a selfie stick? 


A few weeks back I was heading up towards Kongens Nytorv on the Charlottenborg side and walking along the pavement against the water. I noticed a woman standing a short distance ahead with her back against the buildings and only noticed her because of the odd pose - even for someone taking a photo with a phone. The phone was held in both hands at arms length with her arms straight out in front so I guess she was long sighted. As I got nearer and, presumably, as she focused on the phone screen or composed the view, she set off straight across the bike lane - cutting between bikes heading out of the city without looking - and walked straight across the road between the moving cars and straight across the bike lane on the water side with bikes heading fast into the city but without taking her eyes off the screen and ended up, with arms still straight out, rigid, taking up the full width of the pavement immediately in front of me. And I mean immediately in front. Inches away rather than feet away. I was walking quite quickly but she moved at a surprising speed so if I had been wearing rubber-sole shoes there would have been black burn marks on the pavement because I had to stop that quickly to stop from walking straight into her. She gave me a withering look - presumably for standing too close and for distracting her - before turning her head back to the outstretched phone and to the perfect photo she wanted to take. I had to step out into the bike lane - after checking - to get round her. 

When I’m trying to get somewhere it’s bloody annoying although looking out of my apartment it’s more entertaining and a mind-boggling view of weird human behaviour. In the last couple of weeks alone I watched someone who looked like a Japanese tourist who set up his camera on the top of his case with wheels and then made endless trips between the edge of the harbour and his case to take shot after shot after shot until he got just the right angle of his face against the buildings opposite and there was a curious girl who did the splits along the raised timber that marks the edge of the quay for her photo although now, I appreciate, that the timber is, remarkably, like the bar in women’s gymnastics although balancing three metres above the water seemed a little precarious even if, admittedly, it made for an unusual photo. There was also a young couple I took to be Chinese with him in a smart suit and her in an elaborate wedding dress …. Cinderella before midnight meets Marie Antoinette … although they were not strictly taking selfies as they had a photographer with them and she insisted in setting up her camera on a tripod in the middle of the road - again to get what they thought was the perfect photo. 

Another trend I’ve spotted is the fake selfie … the girl (usually a girl and usually mid teens) with a striking outfit and a mate or sometimes someone who is obviously the doting mum there to take the perfect shot. The common pose seems to start by dropping the head forward and then doing a great swinging arc to take all the hair in a great circular sweep so it ends up artfully draped down one side of the face but clear of the eyes and the favourite stance seems to be with body angled to face one side or the other, so across the view line from the camera, but looking slightly over the shoulder towards the camera. Again I’m amazed just how many takes and how much discussion it takes to get that perfect spontaneous shot.


Oh and while I’m being grumpy …. the other thing I really really don’t understand is this fad for fixing padlocks to bridges. The first person to do it was being original and presumably romantic if that first lock on that first bridge marked somewhere special where something significant happened … like proposing or promising eternal love and devotion. Now it’s locks on locks on locks.

I’m curious …. do people arrive with pockets full of locks or do they buy them here and exactly how much does it cost the city or the port authority to cut them off at increasingly regular intervals? And what do people do with all those keys?


climate change for a sustainable future architecture design and conservation


A major exhibition that looks at aspects of sustainable architecture and design has just opened at KADK /The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen.

Following an open competition, 29 research projects were chosen for the exhibition.

Some of the research has looked at the use of materials - so at how established materials can be used in more sustainable ways or new materials that reduce their impact on the environment by using less water or that form less pollutants in production or methods of manufacture where materials can be reused.

The projects are diverse from campaigns to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups; a reassessment of historic or traditional construction methods of timber framing for new buildings; a reassessment of logistics to utilise the metro at night for a new distribution system for goods or the use of sustainable packaging.

the climate change exhibition at KADK
Danneskiold-Samsøe Allé 51,
1435 Copenhagen K
continues until 15 November 2019

the museum of the city

The Museum of Copenhagen was founded in 1891. From 1925 the collection was housed in the attics at city hall but in 1956 the museum was established in the fine 18th-century buildings of the Royal Danish Shooting Society in Vesterbrogade.

The museum closed that exhibition space in 2018 and is in the process of moving into buildings on Vester Voldgade - immediately south of the city hall.

It was recently announced that the museum will not reopen before February 2020.

Københavns Museum / Museum of Copenhagen


fruit from Fejø

Walking home in the early evening at the end of the week, I had to wait as the bridge over the centre of Nyhavn was just being raised for a two-masted boat to come through to reach the upper harbour. It was piled high with what looked like traditional fruit or vegetable boxes.

This was the fruit growers from the island of Fejø who come into the city for a week at the beginning of every September - after the harvest - and unload their produce to sell from the quay.

Wandering along later in the weekend there were boxes of pears, huge plums, several varieties of apples and other farm produce including apple juice.

Everyone was more than happy to chat - they are rightly proud of what they produce - and they explained that the small island - only about 8 kilometres east to west and around 5 kilometres across - is in the sound off the south coast of Sjælland but closer to the north shore of Lolland.

The clay soil is fertile but it’s the micro climate that is important with, generally, a slightly late onset of Spring - so after the frost that could damage the apple blossom - but summers have more sunshine than anywhere else in Denmark … or that was what I was told.

The fruit was, of course, incredibly fresh and all with distinct and strong flavours - I’m eating one of the apples right now.

When it comes to planning or thinking about the quality of day to day life in the city, this is exactly what the planners and the city and port authority should be encouraging.

Why not more trade on the harbour? In the past, with large and heavily loaded commercial shipping coming in and out of the main harbour there might have been a conflict but now why not much more produce delivered or sold from the harbour quays? Why can’t the port authority build transit stations at the north and south end of the harbour with some storage facilities so food and goods can be transferred from lorries to boats?

the fruit sellers of Fejø will be on the the quay on the north side of Nyhavn
until the 15 September

the Berlin Wall at BLOX

On Saturday 7th September, to mark the anniversary of the Berlin Wall being dismantled in 1989, a section of the wall that stood on Potsdamer Platz was on display on the square in front of BLOX with a number of associated events.

The section of wall will stay on the square until 22 September and then be moved to other venues around Denmark.

One Wall - Seven Destinations
Golden Days - the Berlin Wall at BLOX

a new park by the Opera 

The Opera designed by Henning Larsen was completed in 2005 and is the most prominent modern building along the harbour in Copenhagen. It’s at the centre of a wide rectangular island or, rather, on the central island of three islands side by side with narrow canals hard against either side of the opera building and crossed by narrow bridges out to the flanking islands.

In the original scheme, these flanking islands were destined to be developed with expensive apartment buildings but then along came the global recession and since then everything has been on hold. 

The island to the north, about 160 metres wide and 160 metres deep but cut into by a dock from the harbour frontage, has been covered with tarmac and is used for car parking although there is a fine gantry crane across the north side and a 19th-century brick pumping house. The island to the south, tapering slightly from the width of the opera house site at its north end down to 122 metres deep at the south end, has been left as a wide area of grass with relatively small trees planted as formal avenues but not competing with the scale of the opera house and barely masking its south or side frontage.

Krøyers Plads - a development of large and expensive apartments some 500 metres south of the opera house - also faces onto the harbour and was also built around an existing dock but the that scheme was mired in planning controversies and the original plan for tall tower blocks was modified and modified and modified until it is now a relatively acceptable pastiche of historic warehousing or at least reminiscent of historic warehouses in scale and silhouette. 

Papirøen or Paper Island - between Krøyers Plads and the opera - had low concrete warehouses built in the late 20th century - where paper for the city newspapers was stored so hence the name - has been cleared and work recently started on rebuilding the quay side and with major excavations for new buildings but apparently funding for the apartment blocks and a new harbour swimming pool here has slowed so completion dates have moved further away.

Clearly, now is not the right time to build expensive apartments on either side of the opera house so proposals for the area immediately south of the opera have changed. A large underground car park is to be constructed here and a park above it will be densely planted with trees. This scheme has been drawn up by the architecture and planning team of COBE who finally saw the Krøyers Plads buildings realised - although they were not involved in the original proposal - and they produced the initial planning proposals for Paper Island.

However, there seem still to be two problems.

Since it opened, the opera House has been relatively difficult to reach. Until two years ago, and first the completion of new foot bridges over the Christianshavn canals and then the opening of a new bike and foot bridge between Nyhavn and Christiansholm, it was a long walk up from Knipplesbro or an odd route by bus. And it was a longer drive by car around the outside of Christianshavn to come at the opera from the north through the buildings of Holmen - now part of the Royal Academy.

To be able to walk under cover from an underground car park against the side of the opera house, through a tunnel under the canal, and into the opera house at a lower level sounds convenient but I’m still not clear how you will drive there and unclear how it can be justified on ecological grounds where the trend in the city is to remove cars from the centre.

More important, in terms of architecture and planning, is that the opera house and anything on either side hides the four great naval warehouses built in line in the middle of the 18th century, and, with masting sheds and the great crane, these are one of the great and singular features of historic Copenhagen. The warehouses and mast sheds faced across an expanse of open water where the fleet anchored, to the royal palace on the west side of the harbour …….. until the islands were built in front of them and the opera house muscled in.

COBE - The Opera Park

Opera House.jpeg

Lynetteholmen - a new island across the harbour

Earlier in the year, initial drawings were published for a large new island that could be constructed across the entrance to Copenhagen harbour. It could be be called Lynetteholm after a small fort at the north end of the Christianshavn defences although more recently it has been the name of the sewage works off Refshaleøen.

There has been a lot of criticism … generally about the scale of the scheme and because the island will close off the views out from the harbour to the sea of the open sound. Specifically it was considered to be too close to the Trekroner Fort - a triangular outer defence that was built in 1713 … itself on an artificial island that was formed around three scuppered ships of which one was the Trekroner so hence the name of the fort.

That fort was rebuilt in the 1780s, in a slightly different position, but new building on a densely-developed new island will completely swamp the attractive and well-known silhouette of the ramparts and historic buildings of the fort.

The most recent plans show the new island further out in the sound to give the fortress more breathing space but, in the process of rethinking the development, the island has grown and where there had been wide channels on each side - between the new island and Nordhavn and between the new island and Amager - these may now be much narrower. The excuse is that this makes new storm-surge defences - to stop exceptional tidal water flooding into the inner harbour - cheaper to build and more effective.

The construction of the island will incorporate major engineering work for what is now considered to be crucial infrastructure for the city so work will include a major new road tunnel to bring traffic from the north under the harbour from Nordhavn to the east side of Amager and on down - to the airport and the bridge to Sweden - and the Metro could be extended from Nordhavn and the new terminal for cruise ships to, again, go under the entrance to the harbour and run down to connect to the existing line - presumably at the present metro station at Øresund - and run on again to the airport.

An early proposal suggested that the island would be primarily office buildings for new technologies - a Danish Silicon Valley - but more recent schemes seem to be for housing. 

In theory, the idea should not be controversial as the city has been building large new islands out into the sea since Christianshavn was laid out in the first decades of the 17th century. One criticism has been that the cost of constructing the island would mean that all the housing would have to be expensive - so exclusive - and that does not go down well in what is still a left-of-centre city politically although of course the main houses built along Strandgade in Christianshavn in the 17th century were large and impressive and occupied by some of the wealthiest merchants in the city who were, presumably, anxious to escape the tightly-packed and narrow houses where they had lived along what is now Gammel Strand.

The pressure on planners and the developers for the new island will, and quite rightly, come from ecological pressure groups. The open water of the sound is an important resource that should not be squandered but this could also be an opportunity to provide large new parks and foreshore with a careful balance between providing a resource for people in the city and providing new habitat to bring bring nature into the city through well planned and well planted green corridors.

the post on Lynetteholm in February

the most recent proposal


earlier drawings

CHART 2019 - CHART Architecture

This evening CHART - the big annual art fair in the city - opened at Kunsthal Charlottenborg - the main venue for the fair in the centre of Copenhagen.

This was an opportunity to see CHART Architecture - five pavilions in the courtyards of the 17th-century palace that were designed by emerging architects from the Nordic region - the finalists selected by an international jury in an open competition earlier in the year. The winner will be announced on Saturday.

The theme set for the competition was materiality - to see how new materials or reused materials could inspire the designs - and the winning entries have been constructed with the designers working with the engineering consultants ARUP.

Through the weekend of the fair - on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 of August and on Sunday 1 September - the pavilions will be the food stalls and bars for the event.

CHART 2019 -
CHART Architecture
Kongens Nytorv 1,
1050 Copenhagen K

Josephine Rita Vain Hansen & Marie Louise Thorning

Air-filled latex cells form the cocktail bar from Thorn Gin


Christina Román Diaz & Frederik Bo Bojesen

Inspired by the mineral salt and made in timber with fish nets, salt crystals and clear polycarbonate frames with wine and oysters from Rouge Oysters


Anne Bea Høgh Mikkelsen, Katrine Kretzschmar Nielsen, Klara Lyshøj & Josefine Ostergaard Kallehave

A pavilion constructed from the frames, springs and fabric covers of Sultan beds from IKEA for beer from 1664 Blanc


Diana Smilijkovic, Jonas Bentzen, Gustav Kjær Vad Nielsen, Haris Hasanbegovic & Oskar Koliander

Recycled paper formed in CNC-cut moulds for Jah Izakaya Sake Bar

Andreas Körner & Mathias Bank Stigsen

Timber with latex polymer fabric for Green Burgers from Gasoline Grill


the jury for CHART Architecture competition 2019:

  • David Zahle, architect and partner at BIG

  • Lea Porsager, artist

  • Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen, architect and co-founder of Spacon & X

  • Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator of Architecture at MAXXI Museum

  • Rosa Bertoli, Design Editor at Wallpaper* magazine

CHART Architecture 2019


the jury awarded first prize for CHART Architecture competition 2019 to
SULTAN by Anne Bea Høgh Mikkelsen, Katrine Kretzschmar Nielsen, Klara Lyshøj & Josefine Ostergaard Kallehave

Matters - Rethinking Materials at Designmuseum Danmark

A new exhibition for the forecourt of Designmuseum Danmark with the work of five young Nordic designers who have used by-products and rejected waste.

This is an initiative from CHART Curio curated by Line Ulrika Christiansen, Institute Head of Domus Academy Milan, with Pernille Stockmarr, curator at Designmuseum Danmark.

opened on 28 August 2019 and continues until 29 March 2020
at Designmuseum Danmark


Polarized Portraits - Site Specific
by the Swedish designer Kajsa Willner
polarized filters, disposable plastic and acrylic


Clock #02 
by the Norwegian designer Stian Korntved Ruud
metal wood and electronics


Inside Out 
by the Danish designer Kathrine Barbro Bendixen
cow intestines and LED lights


Unidentified objects
by the Norwegian-based Swedish artist Sarah Vajira Lindström
mixed materials


by the Finnish designer and cabinetmaker Antrei Hartikainen
wood and metal


World-class art between disasters

A major exhibition on Danish Art from the Golden Age has just opened at Statens Museum for Kunst - the Danish National Gallery in Copenhagen.

The intriguing title is a reference to major events in Denmark in the 19th-century with the period bookended by the bombardment of the city by the British Navy in September 1807 and the war with Germany that ended in 1864 with the loss of extensive Danish territory in Schleswig Holstein. Both were dramatic and traumatic events that forced the country to reassess it’s position in the World.

For arts in Denmark, this period is considered to be a Golden Age .

Danish Design Review rarely reviews exhibitions of paintings or sculpture but many of these artists recorded in considerable detail topographical scenes, interiors and social life that provide significant evidence for the development of design and architecture through the period.

Danish Golden Age - World-class art between disasters
continues at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen
until 8 December 2019


citizens fleeing to Amager as Copenhagen is bombarded by the British navy in September 1807


Højbro Plads in Copenhagen 1844
by Sally Henriques (1815-1866)


detail of a painting of the square of the Marble Church in 1835
by Frederik Sødring (1809-1862)


street scene
by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)


CHART 2019


Walking through the courtyards of Charlottenborg at the end of the week, there was intense activity with work moving forward fast on the construction of the temporary pavilions that are now a main and very popular feature of CHART ART FAIR - the annual commercial art fair in Copenhagen - that will open at Kunsthal Charlottenborg on Friday 30 August and continue through to Sunday 1 September.

The five pavilions are winning designs from a completion at the beginning of the year that was open to postgraduate students or newly graduated architects, designers and artists working in the Nordic region.

As in 2019, commercial galleries for furniture and design and designers and design studios will show separately in CHART DESIGN FAIR at Den Frie - the gallery space close to the railway station at Østerport.

CHART 2019


Himmel & Hav - By & Havn at Nordhavn

On Saturday and Sunday, By & Havn opened their exhibition in The Silo about the development of Nordhavn - or the North Harbour as one of their contributions to Kulturhaven … the harbour culture festival.

There were models, plans, historic photographs and maps to show how the harbour has developed as more and more land has been claimed from the sea and docks and quays constructed.

A relatively new terminal for the ferry to Oslo and the large dock for cruise ships along with the last area of container dock survive but the oil terminal and most commercial docks have gone and the bonded warehouses converted to offices. Now, much of the land and large areas of newly claimed land that have been built up with spoil from digging the tunnels for the new metro are now streets and squares of large apartment developments.

One task of the exhibition is to show how the development of Nordhavn will be completed through the next stages as an extension of the metro is completed but it is also, in part, a way to show new sustainability goals and to show how this area has taken on board the latest ideas about contending with climate change so, for instance, water from cloud bursts is filtered and taken into the harbour rather than being allowed to overwhelm sewage systems.

By & Havn are the development body that is also overseeing planning and the extensive and ongoing construction work in Ørestad, on the Amager side of the south harbour, and the next stage of development around the power station on the city side of the south harbour and By & Havn will oversee and control the proposed development on new islands north of Refshaleøen.

The exhibition will be open to the public again next weekend - Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September and after that can be opened specifically for organised groups by arrangement.

By & Havn


Kulturhavn FESTIVAL

Just a few images from Saturday and Sunday to show the diversity of events.

Phenomenal numbers of people took advantage of fantastic weather to sunbathe and to swim in the two harbour swimming areas south of Langebro and there were so many at the swimming area at Nordhavn, with the advantage of facing south, that many seemed to opt for tanning by standing.

There was music and dancing and a huge range of activities from yoga lessons in the sun to being shown how to play petanque and at Islands Brygge the local historical society had an exhibition of historic photographs of the harbour in the old railway wagon on the quay to remind people that all this huge area was working docks.


Finders Keepers at Øksnehallen

select any photograph to open all in a Lightbox slide show

Today - Saturday 24 August - was the first of the two days of the design market at Øksnehallen - the old market hall in the Meat Packing District of Copenhagen that is just to the south and west of the central railway station.

Finders Keepers is a celebration of small independent design companies in Denmark and includes clothing, household textiles, leather goods as well as ceramics and glass and furniture. There are play areas for children and food stalls on the forecourt.

Finders Keepers continues tomorrow 25 August 2019
at Oksnehallen in the Meat Packing District of Copenhagen


Denmark's Next Classics


This is the last opportunity to see Denmark’s Next Classics at Designmuseum Danmark.

The exhibition shows the work of five designers who took part in a series on Danish television in the Spring that sought to find new designs that could become design classics in the coming years.

From each designer there is a dining chair, a dining table that can be extended, a pendant light, furniture for children, a sofa and a lænestol or arm chair.

With sketches and models for the designs and with audio-visual material - including clips and interviews from the programmes - Denmark’s Next Classics explores the process of design.

The designers are Janus Larsen, Isabel Ahm, Rasmus B Fex, Kasper Thorup and Rikke Frost.

Judges for the competition were Anne-Louise Sommer - professor of design and now director of Designmuseum Danmark - and the designer Kasper Salto.

Denmark’s Next Classics
at Designmuseum Danmark until 1 September 2019

the six programmes can still be viewed
on line through the DR site


Kulturhavn 2019

Kulturhavn Festival set out in 2001 with three main objectives:

  • To inspire and motivate the audience to engage more in culture and leisure-time by giving them the opportunity to try out new activities and enjoy some sneak previews from the cultural season that lies ahead

  • To familiarise the citizens with Copenhagen Harbour as an urban space, encouraging people, associations, cultural institutions and commercial activities to use and develop this blue urban space

  • To act as companion and a marketing platform for the city's associations and cultural institutions

This year there will be around 230 events and activities including music and theatre on the water; sport from yoga to a “floating water fight” and guided walks and exhibitions.

Kulturhavn Festival
23-25 August 2019. 


Finders Keepers at Øksnehallen

Finders Keepers - a major design fair - is back at Øksnehallen - the exhibition and events hall on the old meat market just to the west of the central railway station in Copenhagen.

Go out of the west end of the station and head for Halmtorvet - the old hay market at the city end of Sønder Boulevard - and the Meat Packing District is on your left.

The design fair will be on Saturday 24 August and Sunday 25 August from 11.00 through to 17.00


Finders Keepers at Øksnehallen in August last year