This Must-see Museum in Denmark May Surprise You

© Yadid Levy

Riches await at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Yes, it's perhaps the most famous attraction in Denmark, but don’t overthink a visit to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It’s popular for a reason: It has a stupendous collection of modern and contemporary art in an unparalleled setting overlooking the Øresund, the strait separating Denmark and Sweden.

The Louisiana, now celebrating its 60th year, has a history that matches its quirky layout (you never know where you are, but it’s always somewhere interesting). Founded by cheese magnate Knud W. Jensen, the museum—itself a major work of Danish architecture—consists of multiple wings in different architectural styles, all predicated on the conceit of a “covered stroll” in an oceanside park.

The art obsessive Jensen had a “sauna” principle: He brought in crowds with “hot” shows of popular artists—such as this year’s “Picasso Ceramics” blockbuster then cooled them off with more challenging work. The museum continues this genius method today.


The Louisiana Museum’s Giacometti room. Ulrik Jantzen / Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

You can enjoy the permanent lineup of 20th-century greats, including Alberto Giacometti, Andy Warhol, and Yayoi Kusama, indoors, and strikingly installed outdoor sculptures by the likes of Henry Moore and Alexander Calder. The gift shop offers sophisticated ceramics, classic furniture reproductions, and a superb collection of contemporary design and craft.

On display this fall is “The Moon,” a show that, like so many at the Louisiana, pulls together disparate works based on a theme. Taking Earth’s satellite as its subject, “The Moon” combines works by a global roster of art stars, including Darren Almond, Kiki Kogelnik, and Trevor Paglen.

“The moon is a mirror of humanity,” says the show’s curator, Marie Laurberg, who will be organizing full-moon parties once a month during the show’s run.