3000px Nøgne træer. Privateje. Foto Ole Akhøj
Svend Hammershøi: 'Bare Trees'. Undated. Private collection.


14 June – 27 August 2023

This year we celebrate an artist who loved trees. Svend Hammershøi (1873–1948) enjoyed an illustrious career as a ceramicist and designer, and he also painted and drew throughout his life. The new exhibition focuses on his creative encounters with nature, mediated through drawings and a keenly observant eye.

Anna Hammershøi, sister of Svend and the older Vilhelm, died in 1956. As a bequest from her estate, the museum received a number of juvenile drawings by both brothers: Vilhelm’s drawings date mainly from his childhood while most of Svend’s are from the 1890s. Here we see Svend drawing trees over and over again, but without repetition, always with something new in mind. Trees and architecture remained his great passion, and the forms he saw there found their way into his designs.

The focus display lets the drawings take centre stage, supplemented by a small selection of paintings and ceramics. The latter reflects Svend Hammershøi’s present-day fame as a designer, not least due to his work for the Kähler workshop in Næstved from 1893 to 1948.

Trees were a great passion for Svend Hammershøi. But trees live much longer than people; only through art can we humans compete with nature. Svend Hammershøi was interested in form as a conveyer of mood, not of grand, overt messages. Perhaps that is why his art remains so vibrantly alive today.

3000px Skovbryn. Privateje. Foto Ole Akhøj
Svend Hammershøi: 'Forest Edge'. Undated. Private collection.