Den Hirschsprungske Samling opened to the public in 1911. Pauline Hirschsprung was present at the official opening of the museum on 8 July , but died the following year.
The entrance hall to the museum is decorated with a floor mosaic from 1910 by Joakim Skjovgaard, in which stylised tobacco plans symbolically represent the founder of the Museum.
Emil Hannover gave the principal speech at the opening, during which he said the following:
“Many words are unnecessary to celebrate the memory of the man who founded this collection. For the collection is itself the monument to him.
Of course, he was far from his wish that the Collection should be seen in this light. It was not a monument to himself, but a monument to Danish art that he wanted to have erected. Although following a practical, middle-class career, and without professional training, he achieved this objective. He managed to create a collection that is not only rich in individually beautiful works, but in which the individual works appear to have been collected on the basis of wisdom and careful planning as bricks in a really historical monument to Danish art in its first and so far sole century.
However, far more than wisdom and careful planning, it was intoxication and enthusiasm that were the driving forces behind this achievement.”
Hannover on Hirschsprung: “Just like this, silent and lost in thought, only with a quiet, happy smile, he could sit in front of some good painting that he had long wanted and finally acquired for the collection.”
P.S. Krøyer: Portræt af Heinrich Hirschsprung. 1898.