Kai Nielsen – Born of Everyday Life

Special Exhibitions /30.05.2024 - 05.01.2025

Any visitor to the Glyptotek cannot help but notice The Water Mother, an iconic, highly popular work located right in the centre of the Winter Garden. The Danish sculptor Kai Nielsen (1882-1924) created the work specially for the Glyptotek. Nielsen’s works will form the focal point for a collaborative exhibition project involving Faaborg Museum and the Glyptotek – two special exhibitions, which will run in parallel at the two museums from summer 2024.

Despite the popularity of The Water Mother, Kai Nielsen is largely unknown, even though his works can be seen in a number of public spaces in Denmark: for example, on Blågårds Plads in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, and on the town square in Faaborg (the sculpture Ymir’s Well). He is perhaps best known for the small ornaments and statuettes he designed for the Danish porcelain companies Bing & Grøndahl and Kähler, and for Dansk Kunsthandel.

Although Kai Nielsen’s figures are immediately recognisable, they also contain references to the history of art, and tackle mythological subjects. The exhibition will be presented with reference to the Glyptotek’s collection of ancient, French and Danish sculpture and it will cast light on Nielsen’s works in the perspective of classical European sculpture.

Faaborg Museum will present their Kai Nielsen exhibition from 9 June to 5 January 2025.

This joint special exhibition project will present works from the collections of the Glyptotek and Faaborg Museum together with loans from private collectors and museums.

Book about Kai Nielsen

The exhibition will be accompanied by book about Kai Nielsen. The book can be bought in the webshop and the museum shop after publication.

The exhibitions at the Glyptotek and Faaborg Museum are generously supported by:

Ny Carlsbergfondet

Dronning Margrethes og Prins Henriks Fond

Den Faberske Fond

Hoffmann og Husmans Fond


Fondet for Dansk-Norsk Samarbejde

Lilian og Dan Finks Fond

Gottfred & Gerda Eickhoffs Fond

Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat

Arne V. Schleschs Fond


The exhibition at the Glyptotek is further supported by:


See the exciting activities and events, the Glyptotek has to offer. Please note, the events in Danish will not be presented here. Go to the Danish version of the homepage to see all events.


Enjoy a delicious lunch at Picnic overlooking the Glyptotek's beautiful Winter Garden.

After Nature

Experience a new reading of the Glyptotek’s paintings by the Danish writer Josefine Klougart