The 'Albertina' Grant
Art in public Space
The ‘Albertina’ Grant was established in 1879 at Carl Jacobsen’s initiative. In many ways, it can be considered a precursor of the New Carlsberg Foundation, which like the ‘Albertina’ Grant supports the presence of art in the public space. Thus, it is only natural that the digitization of Carl Jacobsen’s Correspondence Archive should include the extensive correspondence about the ‘Albertina’ Grant from its earliest beginnings in 1879 to Jacobsen’s death in 1914. The actual letters are mainly kept in the archives of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Thorvaldsens Museum and the New Carlsberg Foundation and have now been digitally scanned and partially transcribed.
The letters vary widely in character, ranging from discussions among the board members about basic principles to Jacobsen’s specific instructions for the stonecutters about details in the design of sculpture plinths. Many of the statues were commissioned from bronze casters in France and Italy, and the correspondence with these artisans offers a vivid impression of Jacobsen’s engagement in the copying of every statue and his attention to detail. In addition, there are exchanges of letters with, among others, sculptors Theobald Stein, Louis Hasselriis, Vilhelm Bissen, Otto Evens and Auguste-Nicholas Cain, all of whom created statues on commission from the ‘Albertina’ Grant.
From 1879 to 1914, 25 sculptures were installed in Copenhagen at the initiative of the ‘Albertina’ Grant, including some of the city’s most iconic public sculptures such as the river gods The Nile and The Tiber at the bridge Dronning Louises Bro and Dying Gaul and Joan of Arc in the central park Ørstedsparken.
Click here for an overview of the approximately 300 letters concerning the ‘Albertina’ Grant. The online archive also gives access to the minutes of proceedings of the Board of Trustees and thus offers first-hand insight into the decision-making processes.
Dyveke Helsted, Torben Holck Colding, Torben Melander (1979). ALBERTINA. Et legats historie gennem 100 år 1878-1979 (ALBERTINA: The history of a grant over 100 years 1878–1979).
Stig Miss (2004). Legatet Albertina, et cirkelslag (The Albertina Grant, a circle section). In Carlsbergfondets Årsskrift (pp. 152–162).