Hans Christian Andersen’s Museum in Odense, Denmark
The museum has been newly redesigned, and the content re-invented. To get inside, you book online in advance as only a limited number of visitors can be together simultaneously. Not for “safety reasons” but because you get equipped with headphones to hear some inspiring things about the poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. Once you had passed a subject or an arrangement, you could listen to it once only.
The subjects chosen by the curators were not in chronological order, and I got convinced that the idea was to give you a small taste of his life, his creative works in literature and paper-cut art.
The effect on me was that it reminded me of a modern museum for children made for people who manage to concentrate on a subject for only a few minutes. Was it up to me to decide? I would have it in chronological order between the showcases and clear writings on the wall with actual content on that subject.
I believe that lots of things from H.C.A.’s life are stored away in archives. At the new museum, only reminiscences of his life work are shown. Should I visit another time, I will see his childhood house, which is included in the ticket.
I will remember Hans Christian Andersen’s ability to write about items from his daily life that was broken. He gave them life; some would be proud or bitter, and others would see the positive in getting a new purpose in life. One example was a broken coffee pot that enjoyed having a plant growing from inside of it.
When you see the buildings from the outside, you can’t know that you are in the city’s centre. To me, that’s refreshing.
As a young person, I read his memoirs and many of his fairytales. I felt I knew him personally. I missed that feeling at the museum.