How can contemporary art change the church’s spatial character and liturgic rituals? Who was the forgotten, bipolar architect and designer Knud V. Engelhardt, who created posters for De Københavnske Sporveje (Copenhagen Tramways)? What role does Greta Thunberg’s gaze play in art and visual culture?

These are some of the topics to be explored by art scholars under the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Research Initiative. Eight research project applications were recently approved, bringing the total number of projects under the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Research Initiative to 61. 

Bridging the gap between universities and museums

The initiative was launched in 2010 with the purpose of generating new research-based knowledge about art and bridging the gap between university and museum research. Thus, the scholars are employed by a university but share their working hours with the involved museums.

In the partnership model that the New Carlsberg Foundation has developed, the exchange of knowledge does not hinge solely on goodwill and lofty ambitions, says Professor Morten Kyndrup, member of the board for the New Carlsberg Foundation.

‘The model ensures that the scholars in question, first of all, have a research field that a museum finds relevant and important. A second key feature is that the scholars, in part via their teaching obligation, will bring their museum-related topic of research into the university context – and their university research environment into the museum,’ says Morten Kyndrup.

Kvindemuseet (The Women’s Museum in Denmark) boosts its research profile

Among the eight grant recipients is the Kvindemuseet in Aarhus, which in a partnership with Aarhus University will employ a scholar to examine the status of the girl as a neglected topic in visual art and an important bearer of meaning in art and visual culture:

‘With Aarhus University as a co-applicant and based on the museum’s vision of being a leading force in generating dialogue about the role of gender in society, the Kvindemuseet wishes to examine this recent development of the aesthetic and political status of the girl,’ says the director of Kvindemuseet, Julie Rokkjær Birch.

The eight approved projects are:


Working title: ‘Pigens blik – Køn, politik og æstetik" (The Girl’s Gaze: Gender, Politics and Aesthetics)
Museum: Kvindemuseet
University: Aarhus University

Working title: ‘Sted og nærvær på tværs af digitale og fysiske domæner’ (Place and Presence Across Digital and Physical Domains)
Museum: Frederiksbergmuseerne (The Frederiksberg Museums)
University: IT University of Copenhagen

Working title: ‘Det distribuerende kunstmuseum’ (The Distributing Art Museum)
Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art
University: University of Copenhagen


Working title: ‘Det moderne kunstmuseum som dannelsesinstitution’ (The Modern Art Museum as an Institition of Bildung)
Museum: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
University: Aarhus University

Working title: ‘“Hvad hånden formed …” Folkekirkens indre fra år 1900 til i dag’ (‘What the Hand Gave Form ...’ Interiors of the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church)
Museum: National Museum of Denmark
University: University of Copenhagen

Working title: ‘Museum for fremtiden: praksisbaseret kuratorisk forskning i samtidskunstens fremstilling af tid’ (Museum for the Future: Practice-Based Curatorial Research into the Representation of Time in Contemporary Art)
Museum: Kunsthal Aarhus (Arts Centre Aarhus)
University: Aarhus University

Project funding:

Working title: ‘Knud V. Engelhardt – en designhistorisk monografi’ (Knud V. Engelhardt: A Design History Monograph)
Institution: Designmuseum Danmark
Scholar: Line Hjorth Christensen

Working title: ‘Opdagelsen af den danske Guldalder’ (The Discovery of the Danish Golden Age)
Institution: SMK National Gallery of Denmark
Scholar: Rasmus Kjærboe