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Kunsthalle Bremen opens the largest presentation on Hans Christian Andersen as a fine artist
Hans Christian Andersen, Orientalisches Gebäude, 1859. Scherenschnitt Odense City Museums.

BREMEN.- The Kunsthalle Bremen will present the exhibition “Hans Christian Andersen: Poet with Pen and Scissors”. This is the largest presentation on Hans Christian Andersen as a fine artist that has ever been shown in Germany. This project is supported by major loans from the Royal Library in Copenhagen, the Odense City Museums, and the Museum Jorn in Silkeborg.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) is known to every child as an inventor of mesmerising fairy tales. “The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and “The Princess and the Pea” brought him great fame during his lifetime. Andersen’s fairy tales have been translated into over 150 languages, making him one of the most widely read authors in the world.

However, few people know that Hans Christian Andersen was also a prolific artist. He created drawings and paper cut-outs and made collages for picture books. Today, these subtle works in paper appear surprisingly modern. During his lifetime the general public was unaware of this aspect of his work. Instead, Andersen gave these works of art to friends and aquaintances. The “other Andersen” is an artistic discovery that also leads to Andy Warhol. The pop art icon captured Andersen and his paper cut-outs in colourful silk-screen prints, making an illustrious contribution to the reception of Andersen’s art which has lasted from the early twentieth century to the present day.

Along with Andersen’s art and its reception, the exhibition will also document the author’s visit to Bremen. Exactly 175 years ago, Hans Christian Andersen came to Bremen for the first time and, among other things, attended the third exhibition held by the Kunstverein in Bremen.

Origin of the idea and the curatorial team
Art historian Detlef Stein from Bremen first became aware of the author’s paper cut-outs and drawings in Andersen’s birthplace of Odense. The idea of the exhibition “Hans Christian Andersen: Poet with Pen and Scissors” was developed with Anne Buschhoff, curator at the Kunsthalle Bremen. The presentation is supported by the Danish Embassy in Berlin.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Ejnar Stig Asgaard, Anne Buschhoff, Klaus Müller-Wille, and Detlef Stein (ca. 300 pages with numerous illustration in colour, hardcover).

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