Publicly Accessible Art Collections in Copenhagen during the Napoleonic Era

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This article describes the increasing accessibility of private galleries in Copenhagen during the early years of the nineteenth century, which formed an important prelude to the formation of a formal public art gallery in 1824-25. After a period of gradually increasing openness of a few private collections of Old Masters, the Moltke Gallery opened in 1804 as the first fully accessible collection of this kind. Though this happened almost by coincidence, as Count Moltke had simply found himself unable to dispose of his father’s collection and decided to put it on show, his initiative soon found ideological backing in a period of wartime nationalism. In this climate, the exhibiting of private art collections was increasingly represented as an act of patriotism and charity. The foremost representative of this movement was the idealist collector Hans West, whose own gallery ultimately came to play an integral part in the formation of a public art gallery in Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Netudgaven er publiceret oktober 2014, den trykte udgave kommer i løbet af 2015.

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