For the first time, Skagens Museum will show a large retrospective exhibition with the artist Johannes Wilhjelm (1868-1938), who belonged to the generation of younger Skagen painters.
Johannes Wilhjelm was raised in the countryside in southern Denmark. At the age of 22 he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Later, he attended the alternative academy, Kunstnernes Frie Studieskoler, where he trained under Peder Severin Krøyer and Kristian Zahrtmann.
Wilhjelm first came to Skagen in 1909 on the occasion of Krøyer’s funeral. He began painting in Skagen the following year and was part of the local community of artists until his death. In Skagen, he first rented a house close to painter Laurits Tuxen in Skagen Vesterby. In 1916, he bought a cottage in Skagen Østerby and had it fitted with a studio.
Wilhjelm left a large body of work, which is dispersed in private collections and museum collections in Denmark and abroad. In the exhibition, we encounter both early and late works by the artist with the objective of reinstating Wilhjelm in Danish art history and add new perspectives to his oeuvre and his time. The exhibition will include artworks from his repeated stays in Italy, from the moors and dunes near Svinkløv on the Jutlandic West Coast, from his time in Skagen, scenes with his family and children, and from Norway and the south of France.
So far, Johannes Wilhjelm’s life and oeuvre has received little academic interest. In connection to the exhibition a publication of papers about different aspects of the artist will be published. The exhibition is made in close collaboration with Fuglsang Kunstmuseum and Ribe Kunstmuseum, where the exhibition is also displayed.
Around 60 artworks from different private and public collections will be part of the exhibition.