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Arken Art Museum

Address: Skovvej 100

Gauguin - Impressionists and Post-Impressionists from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, UTOPIA: Qiu Anxiong and ARKENĒs Collection of contemporary art, including a unique Damien Hirst room.

In the shop you can borrow an IPod and hear about the art. You may also enjoy the view of Køge Bay from the café, or buy exclusive Danish design in our shop.


The foundation and the first five years
ARKEN Museum of Modern Art was opened on 15 March 1996 by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe. Prior to that lay years of political work to turn the region south of Copenhagen to an important part of Danish cultural life.

In many ways ARKEN is a natural part of the development of Copenhagen. From the very beginning of the urban renewal in the 1960s, CopenhagenĒs western and southern suburbs became established as the preferred destination for former inhabitants of the inner city. This meant that the population in the new suburban municipalities grew significantly in number throughout the latter half of the twentieth century.

This tendency was reinforced by the increased immigration into Denmark. The municipalities south of Copenhagen became popular for people of especially Kurdish, Turkish and Pakistani origin. For the first time large multi-cultural quarters sprang up in Denmark.

In continuation of Danish cultural politics it was natural to establish a cultural institution to give the large new population of the western suburbs an opportunity to experience the greatest national and international art, in their own region.

This ambition carried the foundation of ARKEN Museum of Modern Art through the political system, and led to one of the great Danish cultural investments of the latter half of the twentieth century. ARKEN became an undertaking of international dimensions.

When all decisions were made and funding was secured, a competition was held to find an architect. The young architecture student Søren Robert Lund surprisingly won the competition. His suggestion for a deconstructivist museum building now provides the setting for ARKEN. The museum's architecture is striking and bold, but nonetheless suits its surrounding in Strandparken very well.

Since its establishment ARKEN has worked hard at enhancing the quality of all aspects of the museum's affairs, and since 1997 is firmly established among its peers in the national and international circle of museums.

The most important milestones in the history of the museum

1996 Emil Nolde and Kirkeby exhibitions draw 274,000 visitors.
ARKEN opens the COBRA exhibition. It is seen by 94,000 visitors.
1997 Christian Gether is hired as museum director.
1998 ARKEN has between 160,000 and 200,000 visitors annually.
ARKEN enters into a 4-year performance contract with the county of Copenhagen.
Christian Boltanski creates a total installation in the Art Axis with the exhibition “Disappearance”.
1999 ARKEN attains government authorisation.
Robert Smithson “Retrospective – works – 1955-1973” and Salvador Dalí exhibition in the museum. ARKEN exhibits a Dalí elephant at Kgs. Nytorv and in Malmö.
2001 ARKEN receives its visitor number 1 million.
HRH Princess Alexandra becomes ARKENĒs patron.
ARKEN celebrates its fifth anniversary and more than 2000 visitors attend for coffee and cake at the museum.
2002 The exhibition “Asger Jorn” opens.
ARKEN exhibits Edvard Munch and Ekely. MunchĒs “Scream” is featured in the exhibition “Echoes of the Scream”.
Botero exhibition “Painter of the Incredible”. ARKEN exhibits BoteroĒs sculptures on Strøget in Copenhagen.
The first issue of the research journal ARKEN Bulletin is published.
2003 ARKEN opens the Henry Heerup exhibition “Faith, Hope and Charity”, spotlighting the vitalism in HeerupĒs art.
2004 The Picasso exhibition “For All Times” opens.
The same year the museum attains NI authorisation.
2005 The exhibition “ChagallĒs World of Love” opens. The museum sends out love buses.
The Léger exhibition “Man in the New Age” opens.
2006 ARKEN celebrates its tenth anniversary.
ARKEN awards its Art Prize for the first time. The Prize is donated by Annie & Otto Johs. DetlefsĒ Philanthropic Foundation and is awarded to the artist duo Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset.
Copenhagen County donates the money to extend the museumĒs exhibition space by 1600 m2.
2007 ARKEN receives its visitor number 2 million.
ARKEN enters into a research collaboration with Roskilde University.
ARKENĒs Travel Grant is introduced and goes to artist Anders Brinch and curator Jacob Fabricius.
The museum passes from Copenhagen County to the state.
2008 The New ARKEN opens with a total of 5000 m2 of exhibition space.
The visitors enjoyed the exhibitions “The Skagen Painters – In a New Light”, “Andreas Golder – It Has My Name on It” and “ARKENĒs Collection – Premiere”.

The coming years

Since 1997 ARKEN has seen a stable period with growth in all areas of operation. Today the museum matches the grand ambitions its founders had. ARKEN takes on local, regional and international tasks as part of its civic responsibility and seeks to solve these in a way that lives up to the highest standards of international museum administration.

The coming years at ARKEN will be distinguished by great exhibitions of classical Danish and international artists juxtaposed with exhibitions of brand new art. In addition to this, ARKEN continues to expand its collection of the newest Danish and international art. The art historical research will remain fundamental in ARKEN's operation, and the museum continues its development of communication of the art and pedagogical activities for children and young people.

Opening hours

Tuesday-Sunday 10-17
Wednesday 10-21
Monday closed

Entrance Fee

Adults: 85 kr.
Pens./stud.: 70 kr.
Children (0-17): Free
Groups (min. 10): 75 kr.
Members club: Free


ARKEN - Museum of Modern Art
Skovvej 100
2635 Ishøj
Tel: 43 54 02 22


Arken Art Museum Map

Emerald Princess Baltic Cruise Guide
by Fafos & Grjava, 2009
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