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Aside from eating, shopping and viewing art are my two favorite ways to experience a new city. In Copenhagen, Denmark — one of my favorite places in the world — the opportunities for all three are nearly endless. But the best place in town to check out art and stock up on Danish fashion and interior design at the same time isn’t actually in the city at all — it’s the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, located a short train ride north of Copenhagen in scenic Humlebæk. I wish I could move in, not least of all to use their cooler-than-cool museum shop as my personal closet.
The 58-year-old museum is set into the country side, with striking Danish Modern architecture built around an old estate that overlooks the sea. The gallery rooms, dripping with natural light, feature an amazing permanent collection of Scandinavian and international artists as well as big traveling exhibitions (the last time I visited, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's funhouse-like installations were on display).
And the best part: the shopping! The selection in the two-floor museum boutique is as well-curated as the art on the walls, if not better.
There are the expected books, posters, and notecards, sure — but there’s also an incredible selection of clothing, home goods, and accessories. On the main level you can find everything from sleek candlesticks to Danish modern furniture to those Kay Bojesen wooden monkeys that every Dane seems to own.
Downstairs, Danish designers like Stine Goya and Mads Nørgaard hang next to the softest classic cashmere sweaters and scarves, plus hats, socks, bags, and other accessories. Some items are produced exclusively for the museum, like leather bags made by Karin Schneekloth.
Part of the appeal for me is my affinity for Scandinavian fashion and design — give me a funky Henrik Vibskov shirt dress to try on or a blanket from Hay to wrap myself in (both available at the Louisiana shop) and you’ve made my day. But shopping is much more than just what’s available to buy or look at. The natural materials and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the museum's grounds don't hurt the hygge (the Danish concept that roughly means "cozy") vibes. Nor does the fact that the selection is somewhat limited, instead of say, the full five stories at Illum or Illums Bolighus (Copenhagen's best department store and its interiors outpost, both of which I love but find overwhelming).
At the Louisiana, buyer Helle Skou has already done the editing for you — and you’re going to want all of it.
Summer is one of the loveliest times to visit Copenhagen, so if you’re heading there this season, do not miss a trip to the Louisiana. More importantly: Make sure you budget almost as much time for shopping as you do for strolling the gallery space and sculpture gardens. Unlike a few other great modern art museum stores (NYC's MoMA, LACMA) you can't shop the Louisiana online. Even if you could, I'd still recommend making the trek; the experience of shopping there is the best part.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk, Denmark
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