Louisiana opens in 1958

From the beginning, the founder, Knud W. Jensen, intended for the museum to be a home for modern Danish art. But after only a few years he changed course, and instead of being a predominantly Danish collection, Louisiana became an international museum with many internationally renowned works.

Louisiana’s close contact and collaboration with the international arts and cultural milieu has since been one of the museum’s greatest strengths. And also one of the main reasons that it has been possible for Louisiana to present an exhibition program that has resonated so strongly with the public over the years. Louisiana has thus achieved a standing as one of the world’s most respected exhibition venues, and in the future, it will be able to attract exhibitions and artists at a level that few other museums – either in Denmark or abroad – can match.

Knud W. Jensen

Knud W. Jensen put into action many of the period’s visionary ideas about modern museum operation, including a desire for art to have a wide audience. It has always been the view at Louisiana that art is not just for an elite but includes experiences and visions for the many.

From the beginning, it was Knud W. Jensen’s vision to create a museum with soul, where the public could encounter artwork – not as something pretentious, but rather something that spoke directly to the viewer. And he emphasized the need for “supplementary content” that could help bring alive and enrich the environment:

Louise, Louise & Louise

Why is it called Louisiana?

Many people wonder about the name of the museum. The short explanation is this — a nobleman and his three wives.

Knud W. Jensen chose to “take over” the name of the country house that he later converted to a museum. The property had been built and named in 1855 by Alexander Brun (1814-93), who was an officer and Master of the Royal Hunt and who married three women who were all named Louise.

Here at Louisiana, he was a pioneer in beekeeping and the cultivation of fruit trees.