The Willumsen Collection

The collection documents all aspects of Willumsen’s work, spanning from his child drawings to the final unfinished painting. It demonstrates the work process that preceded some of his most famous paintings, such as “The Female Mountaineer”, “Bathing Children”, and “After the Storm”.


Willumsen prepared his larger works through numerous, keenly observed studies in various media and in full size drawings. He sometimes even painted them twice, considering the first version to be a “final rehearsal”.


He depicted his second wife, Edith, as “the Female Mountaineer” and in numerous drawings, graphic works, sculptures and paintings. His associate throughout the last 28 years of his life, the French dancer Michelle Bourret also served as his model and was portrayed in all media.


Many of the works in the collection were kept in the artist’s studios in Copenhagen and in France. They were acquired after his death by Victor Petersen (1918-2002) and his wife Kirsten Petersen. They established a foundation to which they donated around 1400 works, the majority of which are permanently displayed at Odden.


The collection is still supplemented with the support of other foundations and through donations.

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