Esbjerg Art Museum is the location of one of the finest modern art collections in the country. The works are in great demand for exhibitions in Denmark as well as abroad.
Generally, the collection represents an equal distribution of the two main schools that structurally can be seen as characteristic of 20th C art, the realistic-pictorial and the innovative-abstract. At the same time it represents the significant main positions of modernism – traditions within which artists continue to work, even today. In 1997 the museum extended its collection area to comprise international art.
At Esbjerg Art Museum you will find one of the country’s principal collections of modern art from the period around 1920 till today, including works by the most important Danish artists from the 20C.
Apart from classical modernists such as e.g. Harald Giersing, Vilhelm Lundstrøm, and Edvard Weie, the surrealists of the 1930’s together with the Cobra painters are represented through significant works. Concrete art draws a distinctive line through the collection via representative works by e.g. Richard Mortensen, Robert Jacobsen, Linien II, and new artists who continue to work in this tradition. As is the case with Thomas Bang, Svend Wiig Hansen is represented through a large collection of works. The same goes for the new ‘wild’ artists, Christian Lemmerz, Michael Kvium, Erik A. Frandsen, Peter Bonde, and Claus Carstensen. Recent art is represented through works by e.g. Skeel & Skriver, Olafur Eliasson, Nina Saunders, Kirstine Roepstorff, Ann Lislegaard, Miriam Bäckström, and Rui Chafes.
Furthermore, the museum houses a fine collection of international graphic art – approx. 1200 works by e.g. Joan Miro, Jean Dewasne, and Corneille.
The main part of the collection of paintings is open to the public in the unique open stores of the museum.
Esbjerg Art Museum has made its collection of paintings accessible to the public through the museum’s unique introduction of Open Stores. Under normal circumstances museum goers have to content themselves with seeing the small part of a museum’s collections that has been chosen for the present hanging. But at Esbjerg Art Museum, in the Open Stores we make it possible for all guests to assess the choices we have made. Everyone can see what has been omitted while composing a personal selection of 20 C art.
The open stores concept was developed especially for Esbjerg Art Museum in connection with the museum renovation in 1997. In the open stores the museum goers can find every original work from the collection by searching a file that is constantly updated with current loans, deposits, and changing hangings. Updated folders contain extensive information on the current special exhibitions and the works of the collection.
In the art library it is possible to study the most recent periodicals and other art publications. The museum’s collections of books and articles are open to the public. Books and periodicals are registered by the Esbjerg main library, as part of the library database.