About Victor Petersen

Victor Petersen (1918-2002) was born in the small town of Brørup, Jutland, as the only son of a single mother. He wanted to become a journalist and began his career as partner in a small printing office, editing a local advertisement newspaper in the town of Middelfart, Funen. During the war he printed illegal publications. He was betrayed, but managed to escape to Sweden.


In 1945 he returned to Denmark on the very eve of the liberation. He received a small compensation for the destroyed printing office and was thus able to acquire a local advertisement paper on the island of Mors, North Jutland. Here he met and married Kirsten Petersen, with whom he had six children.


After some years he expanded his editorial activity, acquiring shares in local newspapers on Funen and in Jutland. The family settled in the town of Ribe in Southern Jutland. Here he began to collect Willumsen’s work on a large scale, and in 1969 he acquired the town’s former Technical School. He installed the collection there, and opened it to the public.


It was, however, too expensive to run a private museum, and in 1981 the collection had to go into storage. In 1988 Victor Petersen acquired the manor house Odden and a year later he was able to reopen the collection. His last years were devoted to the Willumsen collection which became his life-work.