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The Niels Wessel Bagge Collection

In 2001 Louisiana received a unique donation from the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation, consisting of more than 450 items, primarily from North, Central and South America, from the period before these areas were subject to European influence. The donation highlights the encounter between modern art and ethnographica for which the museum has formed the setting with many exhibitions over the years.

The collection belonged to the Dane Niels Wessel Bagge, who as a young man travelled first to Paris and London, then to Hollywood to try his hand as a dancer, choreographer, stage designer and actor. A large inheritance enabled him to build up an extensive collection.

A selection of the large main group of Pre-Columbian objects (i.e. artefacts from before the arrival of Columbus in America) has now been given a permanent place at Louisiana. The differences among the individual cultures are striking, but the similarities in expression and form are also eye-catching and eye-opening. It is particularly interesting for the modern observer to recognize, in these objects, aesthetic idioms close to our own.

The presentation has been supported by the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation.