Welcome to the American Friends of SMK
AFSMK, the American Friends of the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark), is an organization and a friendship scheme that aims to strengthen ties between the American public and SMK, located in the heart of Copenhagen. AFSMK creates opportunities in Denmark and in the United States for people to broaden their understanding of and deepen their ties to Danish culture by experiencing, participating and supporting the collection, exhibitions and activities of the museum in both countries.
Why give to AFSMK?
The generosity of our supporters makes everything possible. Your support enables us to share the collection and activities of SMK with thousands of people from all over the world.
About the Museum
SMK houses a large collection of Danish and international paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations. The Gallery’s educational activities include the collection, research on art history, and general public education.
A letter from the President
President of the AFSMK, James C. Shehan
To many Americans, a trip to Europe must include experiencing the art and culture of the country they are visiting. In Denmark, that experience means a visit to the largest art museum in the country, the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) in Copenhagen. Housed in a building that blends classical and modern architecture, the museum’s collections span seven centuries of art. They include the world’s finest collection of traditional Danish art, featuring masters such as Jens Juel, Christian Købke, Nicolai Abildgaard and Vilhelm Hammershøi. There is also a marvellous collection of non-Danish, mainly European, art from previous centuries, featuring works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Mantegna, Tintoretto, Hals, van Haarlem, van Dyck and Lucas Cranach the Elder, among others. A large modern art collection covers the major movements of the 20th century and includes Picassos, Modiglianis, Braques and a nice assortment of Matisses, as well as modern Danish artists such as Per Kirkeby. Additionally, in recent years the museum has become a major showplace for contemporary art, utilizing the expansive spaces of the modern wing to great effect.
I have been a regular visitor to Denmark since 1993, accumulating more than 85 visits in that time. While business has generally been the purpose of these trips, whenever I have free time I have been thrilled to explore Denmark’s cultural treasures. I also have come to appreciate the long friendship and deep historical, political and artistic links between the United States and Denmark. Therefore, I was truly honored in 2009 to be asked to be the founding chairman of the American Friends of SMK. It is a privilege to work with my fellow board members, the Gallery’s leadership and all its friends, supporters and contributors, and with my family in support of this great museum.
I encourage you to join us in our mission of broadening and strengthening the Gallery’s ties to the United States and of increasing Americans’ knowledge and appreciation of it.
James C. Shehan
“It is our vision to organize experiences and events that are unique and which offers special opportunities that expose you to the vibrant Nordic art scene. Join us!”
– Hanne Støvring, Executive Director
Dinners & Daytrips
The Directors and Officers of the Board of AFSMK
What is AFSMK getting up to between Copenhagen and New York?
When: November 14, 2015 3:00 PM Contemporary Danish artist Jesper Just discusses his newest work—a combination of video, performance, and installation created in collaboration with Danish artist FOS and commissioned by Performa 2015—and his artistic inspirations with Marianne Torp, curator atThe National Gallery of Denmark.caricature painter
When: October 17, 2015 3:50 PM The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) is performing in light of the enigmatic qualities of Vilhelm Hammershøj. There is a special Nordic melancholy in Hammershøi’s paintings. A loneliness and abandonment is present. It is as if we somehow break into another person’s life and existence. At this concert, the[…]
When: October 17, 2015 – January 16, 2016 (Scandinavia House, New York) April 16, 2016 – July 3, 2016 (AGO, Toronto) Born in Copenhagen in 1864, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi’s exquisite yet puzzling artworks have long captivated scholars and critics. In the exhibition, Painting Tranquility, Masterworks by Vilhelm Hammershøi will be presented by SMK –[…]
When: August 22 – 23, 2015 AFSMK brings you to Philadelphia to enjoy visits to museums such as Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation: Philadelphia Museum of Art: Northern Lights has overseen and brought to life Scandinavian design from its exciting debut in 1900 to the present day. The exhibition focuses on pieces made[…]