8 days, £ 2,130
Lecturer: Shona Kallestrup
Memorable museums, great art both international and Danish, historic architecture and modern design: focusing on the visual arts, this tour provides the opportunity to gain a wider understanding of the history and culture of Denmark in the capital, provincial cities, small towns and countryside.
A major theme is Danish painting of the nineteenth century, of which the Hammershøi exhibition at the RA in 2008 will provide only a glimpse. The first forty years constituted the Golden Age, when landscapes and scenes of daily life exuding radiant contentment were delineated with brilliant naturalism and an inimitable rendering of light. Later the mood darkened under the impulses of social commitment, the deification of Nature and a deeper exploration of the human psyche – Hammershøi was the master here.
Towards the end of the century artists celebrated the low-key beauties of Denmark’s shores and countryside in an Impressionistic style drenched in ineffable light of the North.
There is also much high quality art from the rest of the world to be seen in Denmark, much of it in superb new gallery buildings, some enhanced by a parkland or seaside setting. Some attention is also paid to architecture – from whitewashed brick Gothic churches to the unassuming geometric perfection of Arne Jacobsen.
DAY 1: COPENHAGEN—fly at c. 10.00 a.m. from London Heathrow to Copenhagen—a waterfront walk through Frederiksstaden pass the 1750s palaces of the Amalienborg, the bastions of the Kastellet and (across the water) the new opera house—overnight Copenhagen.
DAY 2: COPENHAGEN, HUMLEBÆK—excellent assembly of 19th-century Danish painting at the Hirschsprungske Collection, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in beautiful seaside setting, the Ordrupgaard Museum with French Impressionists, Danish art and a extension by Zaha Hadid—overnight Copenhagen.
DAY 3: COPENHAGEN—in Slotsholmen, the original core of the city, Christiansborg Palace, Renaissance stock exchange and the Thorvaldsen Museum—the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has Mediterranean antiquities, Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, Golden Age paintings and much else—some free time—overnight Copenhagen.
DAY 4: COPENHAGEN—the Statens Museum shows Danish art from the Golden Age to the present day European Old Masters—the Palace of Rosenborg (1605–33) has well preserved and richly decorated rooms and the royal treasury—leave Copenhagen and cross to Funen by the Storebælt Bridge—overnight Odense.
DAY 5: KERTEMINDE, LADBY, ODENSE— walk around the delightful town Odense—the Funen Art Museum has a comprehensive collection of Danish painting, the best outside Copenhagen—house and studio of Johannes Larsen (1867–1961) in the fishing village of Kerteminde—overnight Odense.
DAY 6: ODENSE, FÅBORG, EGESKOV—Fåborg on the south coast has an excellent gallery of the Funen School and a charming old town centre—Egeskov is a 17th-century moated mansion, well furnished, with park and gardens—optional visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum—overnight Odense.
DAY 7: ÅRHUS—by rail across the bridge to Jutland and to Århus, Denmark’s second city—Arne Jacobsen’s town hall is one of Modernism’s icons, the ARoS Art Museum is a beautiful new building housing historic Danish and modern foreign art—choice between visiting the university campus, a prime example of Danish Modernism, and the Old Town Museum, re-erected 16th- to 19th-century buildings from all Denmark—overnight Odense.
DAY 8: COPENHAGEN-ISHØI—above a fine beach south of Copenhagen the Arken Museum of Modern Art is outstanding for its striking architecture, unexpected location and adventurous exhibitions—fly to Heathrow, arriving c. 5.00 p.m.
Price: £2,130 (deposit: £200)–this includes:–breakfasts, 5 dinners and 2 lunches with limited wine or beer–single supplement £360–price without flights £2,030.
Shona Kallestrup: Specialist in Central, East European and Scandinavian art and design–studied art history and French at the University of St Andrews where she also recieved her PhD in Romanian art–MA from the Warburg Insitute–has worked at the Universities of Aberdeen, Copenhagen and St. Andrews. Her publications include 'Art and Design in Romania 1866-1927'.
Hotels: in Copenhagen (4 nights): 4 stars, in a converted warehouse in the Nyhavn district, close to museums and the Amalienborg Palace–in Odense (3 nights): a modest 4-star, traditional and with character, close to the town centre, the best in town–hotels in Denmark generally do not have air-conditioning.
How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking required and standing in museums–average distance by coach per day: 31 miles–total distance by rail: 189 miles.
Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.