I AM ANNA. A homage to Anna Ancher
2 May - 31 August 2009
Anna Ancher (1859-1935) is one of Denmark's best known female artists. She was a significant member of the community of artists in Skagen, which experienced its days of glory towards the end of the 19th century, where painters, writers, singers and composers gathered to cultivate an informal fellowship. During the 1890s, this group of artists became known collectively as the Skagen Painters. Anna Ancher was the only Skagen Painter who was born and raised in Skagen, and although her mother and sisters were deeply religious, she herself participated actively in the fellowship of culturally radical and atheist artists. She was also allowed to go to Copenhagen to train as an artist at Vilhelm Kyhn's art school for women, which she attended during three winters at the end of the 1870s. Even though she married Michael Ancher in 1880 and gave birth to the couple's only child, Helga, in 1883, she continued to pursue her artistic career right up to her death, as opposed to many other female artists of that era, who stopped painting once they got married or had children.
Anna Ancher was highly successful as an artist even at her own time; she made her début at Charlottenborg in 1880 and exhibited at large exhibitions both in Denmark and abroad throughout her life, and unlike many female artists of her time, she did not have to fight for recognition as an artist. In recent years, various exhibitions have focused on just that – female artists and their circumstances around 1900 – but the pivotal focus of these exhibitions, whether based on a theme or not, has often been feminist. Skagens Museum wishes to go beyond this approach to the works of Anna Ancher.
The year 2009 marks 150 years since the birth of Anna Ancher, and Skagens Museum is celebrating this with an exhibition that has 11 different themes as pivotal points, and in which a selection of Anna Ancher's works are shown in a thematic dialogue with the works of other artists. Themes, which each in their own way puts Anna Ancher's paintings into perspective. The dialogues take place between works created at the time of Anna Ancher – which may have inspired her – as well as between Anna Ancher's paintings and works by modern-day artists. The intention is to focus on themes in which Anna Ancher was absorbed, and which she painted over and over again, whilst at the same time making some of the themes topical by allowing them to enter into dialogue with works by other artists.
The exhbition is divided into the following themes:
The empty interior
The art of plukcing feathers