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The Danish Chair. Photo: Pernille Klemp.

The Danish Chair. Photo: Pernille Klemp.


Designmuseum Danmark

Designmuseum Danmark is one of Scandinavia's central exhibition forums for Danish and international industrial design, decorative and applied arts. The museum’s collections, library and archives constitute a central resource centre for the study of design and its history in Denmark. The museum brings together and documents the contemporary developments within industrial design, decorative and applied arts. Designmuseum Danmark undertakes research into the history of art and design, taking as its point of departure the museum’s own collections, and presents the results in exhibitions, publications and educational material etc.

Designmuseum Danmark (originally named The Danish Museum of Decorative Art) was founded in 1890 by the Industriforeningen i København (now Dansk Industri – The Confederation of Danish Industries) and the Ny Carlsberg Museumslegat. It first opened to the public in 1895 in a completely new museum building situated on what is now H.C. Andersens Boulevard, in the very centre of Copenhagen. Right from the start the main purpose of the museum has been to disseminate a concept of quality within design.

Since 1926, Designmuseum Danmark has been housed in one of Copenhagen’s finest rococo buildings, the former King Frederik’s Hospital. This edifice was built during the reign of King Frederik V in the years 1752–57 to designs by the architects Nicolai Eigtved and Lauritz de Thurah. In the early 1920s the building was renovated and refurbished to suit museum purposes by the architects Ivar Bentsen and Kaare Klint.

The museum garden, The Grønnegård, is a public space and can be enjoyed by everyone during museum opening hours. In the summer it serves as the performance space for the Grønnegård Theatre’s productions for children and adults. The museum café also has outdoor serving during the summer.

Permanent exhibitions

The chair is one of the strongest representatives of the development of Danish design and a reason why furniture design has made Denmark famous worldwide.  Designmuseum Danmark wants to tell the story about this inheritance and development with the exhibition The Danish Chair. The Exhibition invites audience to walk into a surrounding experience of the chair’s development and history. Showing 110 central pieces of Designmuseum Danmark’s collection, each chair is put in a frame, thus creating a very special insight into Danish and international design history. The exhibition’s many Danish Classics are set into perspective with international furniture. 

The point of departure for the permanent exhibition comprises several of the dominant ideas and thoughts, which have been significant for mankind and society in the 20th century and are recognisable in design. This is the approach of the exhibition as regards such aspects as the early 20th century avant-garde design dream of a new and better world; functionalism’s FDB furniture seen as a social tool, and the 1990s globalisation and visions of ecology and recycling. 

DANISH DESIGN NOW                                                                                                                                                 DANISH DESIGN NOW presents a rich selection from a wide spectrum of contemporary Danish design. You will see furniture, product design, graphic design, fashion and design for public spaces. Everything has been designed in the 21st century by talented and influential Danish designers. The exhibition includes “superobjects” within the crafts of ceramics, glass, and jewelry and directs its focus towards the most artistically innovative objects in each field. The exhibit is the first overview of the tendencies that have taken hold in Denmark in the new millennium, in dialogue with international movements. DANISH DESIGN NOW shows off the diversity of new designers and craftsmen and of style trends, lifestyle choices and technological innovation. 

Temporary exhibitions

NIGHT FEVER - 25.01.2020 – 27.09.2020

Nightclubs and discothèques are hotbeds of contemporary culture. Throughout the twentieth century, they have been centres of the avant-garde that question the established codes of social life and experiment with different realities. They merge interior and furniture design, graphics and art with sound, light, fashion and special effects to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk. »Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today« examines the history of the nightclub, with examples range from Italian clubs of the 1960s created by the protagonists of Radical Design to the legendary Studio 54, from the Palladium in New York designed by Arata Isozaki to more recent concepts by the OMA architecture studio for the Ministry of Sound in London. Featuring films and vintage photographs, posters and fashion, the exhibition also comprises a number of light and sound installations that will take the visitor on a fascinating journey through a world of glamour, subculture, and the search for the night that never ends. An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum.


year of foundation: 1890
number of employees: 60
visitors per year: 230.000
financing sources: Ministry of Culture Denmark Danish Agency for Culture, Private foundations Sponsors and partners Friends of the Museum
  • Designmuseum Danmark. Photo: Pernille Klemp
  • Borge Mogensen in The Spanish Chair. (c) Fredericia Furniture
  • Dress with ostrich feathers by Erik Mortensen. Designmuseum Danmark. Photo: Pernille Klemp
  • WEGNER - just one good chair. Designmuseum Danmark. Photo: Pernille Klemp
  • Wegner – Just one good chair. Photo: Pernille Klemp
  • About A Chair by Hee Welling. Photo @HAY press photo.
  • Geo by Nicholai Wiig Hansen. Photo @ Normann Copenhagen.
  • Bamboo Comfort - Flavio Deslandes. Photo @ Franz Henriksen.
  • Learning From Japan. Photo: Pernille Klemp.