A Museum of Modern Art in my Home Town
My town Herning is known for knitting, weaving and textiles and one of the directors for a textile factory called Angli was promoting modern art a lot when the factory was on its height in the 1960-70s.
The director Aage Damgaard thought that the ladies working at his factory should be able to look at art while sewing the shirts.
I think this post could be linked to Tiny Expats blogging event called Show your World.
One of the most famous artists working there was the Italian Manzoni. Some of his works are to be seen on the other side of the Else Ahlefelt & Carl-Henning Pedersen museum in another new museum called HEART ( Herning Art). The architect Steven Holl is very famous, and that building is created like a white shirt spread out on the grass.
Photo by Iwan Baun
An artist called Carl-Henning Pedersen ( 1913-2007) was asked to make a frieze of ceramics in the yard of the Angli factory, and later this artist wanted to give all his thousands of paintings to a museum if it could be built in Copenhagen where he lived. He was in the artist group called “Cobra” with artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, but he was totally autodidact. All his paintings and ceramics are full of symbols. He was married to Else Ahlefelt who was an educated painter.
His dream was not coming to pass, but then the director of the shirt factory in Herning said:
Come over here we will find a way!
He built the museum beside the Angli factory, and here it comes.
Nowadays the factory is used for a design and textile education in a school names TECO that attracts young people from many other countries and the area is full of other educational institutions and flats for the students.
Today I went to see the Carl-Henning & Else Ahlefelt Museum as it had been extended by an underground building with light from the roof windows in the lawn outside. They had a special exhibition from another “Cobra” artist Henry Heerup (1908-1993), who had done a lot also to let art be known and popular among ordinary people. “The Irma girl” is still the trademark of a good grocery shop called Irma.
That meant that he wasn’t as acknowledged in his time as he ought to have been. His art was used for decorating cans for coffee or plastic bags for grocery goods or mural decorations for advertisements among many other things. Henry Heerup wanted his art to be valued by working class people. He made his paintings and art constellations in his garden all year round. It may not be so easy to see, but he took his education at the art school in Copenhagen.
We were lucky to attend a guided tour of the museum today, and that increase the interest even if the style of the art is not our first choice.
As it so often happens, an artist wasn’t fully appreciated in his days. Thank you for sharing this story!
I love learning about Henry Heerup – I love his iconic Irma girl! I have not been to this museum yet – definitely on my list now!
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Tell me if you come. I live only six km from the museum. There is another museum in Holstebro 30 km from here with his art on a permanent exhibition. This one at the Herning Museum ended in January
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Thanks for the tip! And i will let you know!