Danish Early Modern Art
Danish art from the early modernism
The Collection of Danish Early Modern Art comprises paintings, sculptures and ceramics from between circa 1890 and 1950, including important works by Vilhelm Hammershøi and J.F. Willumsen. In contrast to the museum’s two other collections, nearly all the works of art in this group were acquired personally by the museum’s founder, C.L. David himself.
Even as a child, C.L. David was well acquainted with Danish art. An important factor in this regard was his aunt, the artist Agnes Lunn (1850–1941), who took him to museums and introduced him to the early modernist generation of Danish artists. Later, C.L. David’s friendship with the museum directors Emil Hannover (1864–1923) and Vilhelm Slomann (1885-1962) also had a decisive impact on his interest in Danish as well as European arts and crafts, and David’s involvement on the boards of the Kunstindustrimuseum (now Designmuseum Danmark), Den kgl. Porcelainsfabrik and the Dansk Skulpturforening further served to expand his first-hand knowledge of the art of his time.
From 1910, the Collection of Danish Early Modern Art grew steadily, and much of it was exhibited in the newly furnished exhibition halls on the museum’s top floor at Kronprinsessegade 30.
Following C.L. David’s death in 1960, the museum directed its main focus towards its two other collections – in particular the Collection of Islamic Art. As a result, a significant part of the Danish works ended up in storage or were on loan to other Danish art museums. But in 1995 the various works of art returned to the museum in connection with the exhibition Dansk kunst i Davids Samling – fra Philipsen til Saxbo.
After the museum’s extensive renovation and reopening in 2009, large parts of the Collection of Danish Early Modern Art have come to light again at The David Collection, and today a selection of these works are regularly exhibited.