Archive for Hven

Art in the Afternoon

Posted in Art, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2011 by telescoper

Just a quick blogette to mention that yesterday the workshop participants here in Copenhagen went on an excursion to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which is just north of Copenhagen.

This is an extremely interesting museum to visit at any time, not just for the temporary exhibitions which at present include the architecturally-themed Living and some wonderful drawings made by David Hockney using his iPad; the latter almost made me want to go out and buy one.

There’s also a fine permanent collection, including many wonderful  sculptures by Alberto Giacometti :
and several by Henry Moore standing (or rather reclining) in the grounds:

What’s really great about Louisiana though is its relaxed informal atmosphere; kids are encouraged to play around (and sometimes in) the scupltures, there is lots of green space to relax in, and you are welcome even to swim in the sea, although I didn’t because I didn’t have my bathing costume with me. Many consider modern art and its galleries to be a bit pretentious, but that couldn’t be further than the truth for this place. I’ll also add that it was very busy indeed so is obviously extremely popular.

For those of you not so interested in Modern Art (which actually seemed to the case for many of my dining companions last night), there is a strong astronomical connection with this place because it offers a view of the Island of Hven on which Tycho Brahe established a famous observatory Uraniborg.

I’ve been to Louisiana many times but have never taken the short boat trip out to Hven, largely because there’s nothing much of the observatory left. Apparently the locals were squeezed mercilessly for taxes to pay for the running costs of Tycho’s observatory, with the result that by the time Brahe left in 1597 the residents of Hven were thoroughly fed up with him and tore the whole thing down.

The moral is clear of that little story is clear: astronomers need to keep the public on their side!

Now it’s time to start the workshop for today so I’d best be off…

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