Welcome to the American Friends of Statens Museum for Kunst

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
I also have come to appreciate the long friendship and deep historical, political and artistic links between the United States and Denmark

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

Our events

“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
Guided Tours
Picture of Jeppe Hein Guided Open Air Tour
AFSMK organizes a line of unique guided tours and exhibitions for its friends and donors in both Denmark and the US.
Private Viewings
Picture of Gagosian Gallery Art Talk
Enjoy VIP invitations to private art talks and viewings as a friend of AFSMK.
Dinners & Daytrips
Picture of a visit to the Danish Village, Solvang
Every year AFSMK organizes a line of activities (Dinners & Daytrips) to unique Nordic destinations in the U.S. Friends and donors receive special invites to partake and experience first-hand the historic relationship between the U.S. and Denmark.

The Directors and Officers of the Board of AFSMK

Latest News

What is AFSMK getting up to between Copenhagen and New York?

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