The most famous Skagen painters are Anna and Michael Ancher and P.S. Krøyer. But also artists such as Holger Drachmann, who was both a poet and an artist, Viggo Johansen, Carl Locher, Laurits Tuxen and the Nordic artists Christian Krohg and Oscar Björck contributed in placing Skagen on the map.
Skagens Museum was founded in 1908. The aim was to collect and preserve some of the Skagen painters works in the environment in which they were created, and to make them available to a larger audience. In March 1908, Skagen's Tourist Association decided that if the summer exhibition held at the Technical School made a profit, the money would be spend on acquiring art works. In November 1908 Skagen’s Tourist Association donated the first painting to the museum – Anna Ancher’s The entrance to our garden from 1903. Later that year, the Tourist Association donated a further three paintings by Holger Drachmann to the museum and these four paintings formed the backbone of the museums’ collection. At the inauguration of the museum building in 1928, the collection had grown to 325 works of art. The artists also donated a lot of their own works to the museum, and hotel owner Degn Brøndum bequeathed his art collection to the museum, including Brøndum’s dining room.
The New Carlsberg Foundation was a generous giver in the museum’s first years, and again in the 1950s and the 1960s, the foundation donated a large amount of works to the museum. Shipbroker Hjalmer Bruhn also donated many works to the museum in the 1930s and early 1950s, and since then several private individuals have donated works to the collection. In addition, several funds in the recent years, has been very kind in assisting the museum in purchasing works. As a result, Skagen’s Museum now holds the world’s largest collection of works by Skagen painters, and the collection has grown to more than 1800 works of art.
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