Thanks to a large fund donation, The Nivaagaard Collection has succeeded in designing an ambitious climate renovation that secures the museum’s art collection for the future and incorporates sustainable solutions into a new green museum profile. The climate renovation will be carried out from February to October 2021.

It is a long-standing dream come true for the museum with the extensive climate renovation, which takes place over two stages: Until June, one half of the exhibition halls (the museum’s Column Hall and adjoining hall) will be renovated, and a geothermal heating system and a new technical house will be built. The second half of the project will be completed between June to October 2021 (the museum’s ‘Gl. Afdeling’ and adjoining hall).

Green museum profile and new experiences with art
The climate renovation will strengthen the framework for future art experiences at The Nivaagaard Collection and bring the museum into a new league. The improvements allow for optimal control of temperature and humidity in the exhibition halls, so that the museum secures the future of its unique art collection in the best possible way and at the same time is qualified to get works of art of the highest quality on loan.

The new skylights of the exhibition halls will elevate the aesthetics and give the visitors the opportunity to view the paintings in the natural light in which they were created. Most of the museum’s skylights have in recent years been permanently covered to prevent it from getting too hot and because the glass did not adjust the angles of light and brightness.

The renovation is entirely supported by sustainable solutions in the form of new skylights that improve the properties of the building’s exterior, LED lighting, efficient ventilation ducts and a geothermal heating system that complements the energy supply. It is ground-breaking that in an existing museum building, energy supply is being changed from fossil fuel to sustainable geothermal heating, which can both heat and cool the air in the exhibition halls.

The new technical installations are assembled in a new technical house in extension of the museum’s Column Hall to the north. The extension gives extra square meters at the museum for an expanded cloakroom, much-needed storage space and a new office.

It is thanks to generous donations from four of the country’s largest foundations that the climate renovation is now being realized: Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen’s Foundation, VILLUM FOUNDATION, Augustinus Foundation and A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine McKinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal have together donated DKK 35 million for the renovation project.

The climate renovation is being carried out with Julius Nielsen & Søn A/S as the main contractor. Jeppe Blak-Lunddahl, director of EMCON, is the client’s consultant, and the main consultant is Bertelsen & Schewing with architects Jens Bertelsen and Kasper Bendtsen.


The Nivaagaard Collection was established by the landowner and politician Johannes Hage. The current museum building was built in several stages in 1903, 1988 and 1992. Since 2016, the museum has been working on the preparations for the climate renovation project that is now being realized.

The museum’s art collection consists of almost 240 works spread across 500 years of art history with significant works of art from the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch Baroque and the Danish Golden Age. The works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods make the collection unique, because The Nivaagaard Collection, in addition to the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark), is the only place in the country where you can view a larger collection of older European art.

Over the summer, just over half of the art collection will be on loan with Danish Golden Age works to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in the Netherlands and the older masterpieces to the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, while selected Renaissance works can be viewed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. The art collection will be back at the museum in its entirety when the museum completes the climate renovation in October.


The museum reopens on April 21 with the exhibition ‘A Discernible Mix’, which shows works from the collection that are rarely exhibited. The exhibition is on until 27 June in the museum’s ‘Gl. Afdeling’ and the adjoining hall, while the other two halls are closed.

It will be visual artist Anette Harboe Flensburg’s exhibition with the latest works ‘Træerne findes’ (The trees exist), which at the end of June inaugurates the two newly renovated halls, the Column Hall and its adjoining hall. The exhibition will be shown until the end of September, when the museum’s other halls will be closed for to the climate renovation.

In October 2021, the entire newly renovated museum will open with an Ib Spang Olsen exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the beloved artist and illustrator, as well as a collection exhibition of returned works.

The café is unaffected by the climate renovation and is open throughout the duration.