The Enigmatic Collector. Helge Jacobsen’s Pinacotheca

Special Exhibitions /28.02 - 09.08.2020

Paintings by Gauguin, Courbet, Monet, Manet and van Gogh are among the most important works in the Glyptotek’s modern collection. Yet the collector behind these works, Helge Jacobsen, is unknown to most, overshadowed by his famous father Carl Jacobsen. In 1914, after the death of his father, Helge Jacobsen (1882-1946) became director of the Glyptotek as well as chairman of the New Carlsberg Foundation, a position he held until 1946. This exhibition is the first to explore Helge Jacobsen’s influence and impact on the arts.

Immediately after becoming director of the Glyptotek, Helge Jacobsen announced his ambition to create a pinacothèque – a collection of paintings. This was a new departure compared to his father’s collection, which was based on sculptures from Ancient Greece and Rome and French sculptures from the later 1800s.

One of the main themes of the exhibition is the creation of the Glyptotek’s collection of French paintings: the story of how Helge Jacobsen manoeuvred strategically and in fierce competition with other collectors of the period to create the most important Danish collection of French masterpieces of his lifetime.

The exhibition presents a broad selection of masterpieces from the collection, together with previously unseen archive material and photographs telling the story of Helge Jacobsen, the ‘collector in the shadows’.


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.

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