Om Den Hirschsprunske Samling
History of the Collection
Museum Building


While Waiting


While discussions were going on, Hirschsprung continued to build up the collection with works including Joakim Skovgaard's cartoons for the decoration of Viborg Cathedral and the important purchases of works by artists including Michael and Anna Ancher and Vilhelm Hammershøi from the art collector Alfred Bramsen's Collection.


One of these was Michael Ancher's sunny picture of Blind Kristian and Tine in the Sand from 1880.


Then came a series of 16 promises of legacies from private individuals who promised to donate works of art to the collection once it passed into public ownership.


Altogether, Hirschsprung acquired over 30 paintings conditional on the collection passing into public ownership.

Thus, in 1901 he purchased the picture seen on the right, Wilhelm Bendz's Interior from Amaliegade with the Artist's Brothers, c. 1829, which, however, only came into the collection in 1915 after the vendor's death.



Sculpture had so far not been one of Hirschsprung's major interests. He had earlier bought a small number of works, but with the prospect of exhibiting his collection in public as a representative account of 19th-century art, Hirschsprung became eager to collect sketches by more recent sculptors.


Theobald Stein: Little Gunver, sketch. 1898. Fired clay. Height 24.8 cm. Sketch for the original model of 1899 in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. A bronze version was erected in Kongens Have in 1909.



Hirschsprung used the sculptor and family friend, Ludvig Brandstrup, as an adviser on his collection of sculptures, which was to contain works by “both dead and living sculptors”. And in less than a year, Hirschsprung managed to collect the great majority of the 180 sculptures included in the 1902 catalogue. The collection represents 20 Danish sculptors.


On the right can be seen Carl Bonnesen's Death and Cupid. Hirschsprung had bought a plaster sketch of the sculpture in 1901-02. The sculptor donated the bronze version seen here to the Collection in 1912.



At this time, Pauline and Heinrich Hirschsprung spent their winters in Nervi, from1903 in a rented house called “Villa Castello”. They moved from the large apartment in Bredgade, and Hirschsprung's collection was stored in Statens Museum for Kunst. The summer home, “Skrænten” was also sold and replaced by a rented summer residence, Egebæksro, in Espergærde.


In this photograph, which is in a private collection, Pauline and Heinrich Hirschsprung are seen together with the lady's companion, Miss Louise Michaëlis in the Villa Castello in Nervi, 1903. Among other things behind Miss Michaëlis hangs H.B. Storck's floor plan of the coming museum.

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