National Gallery of Denmark – SMK

Sølvgade 48-50, 1307 København K Google Maps

Guests in front of SMK. Photo: SMK

The National Gallery of Denmark, also known as the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), is the largest art museum in Denmark. It is located close to Rosenborg Castle, within walking distance from Nørreport Station and contains a vast collection of art, ranging from the 14th century to the present day.

The museum was founded in 1896 and has since been expanded and renovated several times. Today, it occupies a modern building that was designed by architects Anna Maria Indrio and Mads Møller, which opened in 1998.

The collection of the National Gallery of Denmark includes more than 260,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and prints. The museum’s collection of Danish art is particularly strong, with works by artists such as Vilhelm Hammershøi, Christen Købke, and Anna Ancher. The museum also has an extensive collection of European art, with works by artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, and Goya.

In addition to its permanent collection, the National Gallery of Denmark also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase a wide range of contemporary and historical art. The museum also has an extensive program of educational activities, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours, aimed at both adults and children.

Overall, the National Gallery of Denmark is an important cultural institution in Denmark, attracting visitors from all over the world, who come to explore its extensive collection of art and to experience its engaging exhibitions and educational programs.

Here are some more key points:

  • The museum’s collection is divided into several departments, including Danish and Nordic Art, European Art, and Contemporary Art. Each department has its own galleries and curatorial team.
  • One of the highlights of the museum’s collection is the Danish Golden Age, a period of great cultural and artistic flourishing in Denmark in the early 19th century. The museum has an extensive collection of paintings from this period, including works by famous artists such as C.W. Eckersberg, Wilhelm Bendz, and J.Th. Lundbye.
  • The National Gallery of Denmark also has a large collection of modern and contemporary art, with works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol. The museum’s contemporary art collection includes both Danish and international artists, with a focus on contemporary art from the Nordic countries.
  • In addition to its collection and exhibitions, the National Gallery of Denmark also has a range of other activities and amenities, including a café, a shop, and a library. The museum’s library is one of the largest art libraries in Denmark, with more than 200,000 books and periodicals on art and art history.
  • The museum is located in Østre Anlæg, a park in the heart of Copenhagen. Its modern building is a striking contrast to the surrounding historic architecture, and its location makes it easy to combine a visit to the museum with a stroll in the park or a visit to other nearby cultural attractions.
  • Finally, the National Gallery of Denmark is committed to making art accessible to everyone. It offers free admission to its permanent collection, and many of its temporary exhibitions are also free. The museum also offers a range of accessibility services, including audio guides, sign language interpretation, and wheelchair access.
Guest at SMK. Photo: SMK

When is the best time to visit?

The National Gallery of Denmark is open throughout the year, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Crowds: the museum can be busy during peak tourist season, which is generally from June to August. If you prefer to avoid crowds, consider visiting during the off-season, which is from November to March. However, keep in mind that the museum may have shorter opening hours or be closed on certain days during this time.
  • Special exhibitions: The National Gallery of Denmark hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so if there is a particular exhibition that you want to see, it’s best to plan your visit around that. You can check the museum’s website for a schedule of upcoming exhibitions.
  • Events and holidays: Copenhagen has a range of events and holidays throughout the year, such as Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you want to experience these events, it’s best to visit during the appropriate time.
    Overall, the best time to visit the National Gallery of Denmark depends on your preferences and interests. Regardless of when you visit, the museum’s extensive collection of art and engaging exhibitions are sure to make for an enriching cultural experience.

Opening hours

The National Gallery of Denmark is typically open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. However, please note that the museum may have special opening hours on holidays and during certain exhibitions, so it’s always a good idea to check the museum’s website or call ahead to confirm opening hours before your visit. Additionally, the museum is closed on Mondays, December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st.

How is the access for disabled people?

The National Gallery of Denmark is committed to making its exhibitions and facilities accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities. Here are some of the accessibility services that the museum provides:

  • Wheelchair access: The museum’s modern building is fully accessible to visitors using wheelchairs, with ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms available throughout the museum. The museum also has a limited number of wheelchairs available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Assistive listening devices: The museum provides free assistive listening devices that amplify sound for visitors who are hard of hearing. The devices are available at the information desk.
  • Sign language interpretation: The museum offers free sign language interpretation for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. Interpretation services must be booked in advance by contacting the museum.
  • Audio guides: The museum provides free audio guides in Danish, English, and several other languages. The audio guides are available for loan at the information desk, and they include descriptions of the artworks as well as information about the museum’s architecture and history.
  • Tactile tours: The museum offers free tactile tours for visitors who are blind or visually impaired. These tours allow visitors to touch selected artworks and artifacts in the museum’s collection. Tactile tours must be booked in advance by contacting the museum.
    Overall, the National Gallery of Denmark is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all visitors. If you have specific accessibility needs, it’s a good idea to contact the museum in advance to discuss your requirements and to make any necessary arrangements.

Is the museum suitable for kids?

Children look at art. Photo: SMK

Yes, the National Gallery of Denmark is a great destination for families with kids. Here are some reasons why:

  • Family-friendly exhibitions: The museum regularly features exhibitions and installations that are designed specifically for children and families. These exhibitions are interactive and engaging, with hands-on activities and educational content that make learning about art fun and accessible for kids.
  • Creative workshops and activities: The museum offers a range of creative workshops and activities for children and families, such as drawing classes, storytelling sessions, and family tours. These activities are designed to help children develop their creativity and critical thinking skills while engaging with the museum’s collection.
  • Free admission for children: Children under 18 years of age are admitted to the National Gallery of Denmark for free, making it an affordable destination for families.
  • Family facilities: The museum provides family facilities such as stroller parking, nursing rooms, and changing tables to make it easier for families with young children to visit.
  • Art collection suitable for kids: The museum’s collection includes a range of artworks that are suitable for children, including paintings, sculptures, and installations that are colorful, imaginative, and thought-provoking.
    Overall, the National Gallery of Denmark is a welcoming and inclusive destination that is suitable for visitors of all ages.

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