The exhibition presents new relationships between collections that have long been in storage and returned gems that have been on loan and can now finally be experienced in a joyful reunion at the museum.
With a focus on the museum’s founder Johannes Hage, ‘A Discernible Mix’ is an exhibit of portraits, landscapes, seascapes, religious motifs and genre scenes. Motifs that are characteristic of Johannes Hage’s (1842-1923) taste, but also some of his own paintings that were not exhibited as often, as they rarely fit in alongside the Collection’s three permanent periods: Italian Renaissance, Dutch Baroque and Danish Golden Age. The exhibition also shows some modernist works inspired by older art history, which were purchased by subsequent museum directors.
‘A discerning mix’ can be experienced in the museum’s ‘Gl. Afdeling’ and the adjoining hall, while the other two halls are closed down due to climate renovation.
One of the exhibition’s side galleries includes a number of the museum’s large black-and-white photographs, which tell the unique story of Johannes Hage, the landowner, politician and art collector and his social commitment and significance for the area around Nivå. With the exhibition’s focus on the Collection’s founder, the photographs help to bring to life everyday life and life on the estate and in the brickworks. The pictures depict the people who lived a full life around Nivaagaard, and the cultural-historical landmarks that can still be experienced in the cityscape. Johannes Hage became a kind of patriarch for the town and its residents. He had a school built for the town’s children, a small chapel and then Nivå Church, so people did not have to walk 14 km to the church in Karlebo, as well as Nivå hospital. He also set up the first health insurance fund in the country and the year before he died, he founded the Hageske Stiftelse Foundation, whose purpose is to help people with mental illness.
The brickworks enterprise, together with agriculture, helped to create the prosperity that also enabled Johannes Hage to establish a fine and international art collection. In 1903, he built a small building for art in temple style in the park, which he made available to the public in 1908 with the founding of the museum that became The Nivaagaard Collection.
The museum’s art collection consists of almost 240 works spread across 500 years of art history with significant works of art from the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch Baroque and the Danish Golden Age. The works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods make the collection unique, because The Nivaagaard Collection, in addition to the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark), is the only place in the country where you can view a larger collection of older European art. Over the summer, just over half of the Danish Golden Age works will be on loan to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in the Netherlands and the older masterpieces to the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, while selected Renaissance works can be viewed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin.