On Thursday 12 March, the National Gallery of Denmark
temporarily closed its doors to visitors. This was a direct response to the Danish governments instructions issued to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). According to these instructions, since amended and extended in scope, all indoor public cultural institutions must remain closed at least until after Easter.
But while the doors are closed and the lights are out at the physical museum, people can still explore Denmarks largest art collection from the comfort of their own homes.
For example, they can do so via the showcase for SMKs online collection, SMK Open. This free service is always open. Also, during the weeks of lockdown the museum regularly shares selected art treasures, interviews with the staff and other good stories from the national gallery via SMKs digital channels on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
'Of course, we take the situation very seriously and are currently keeping the museum closed to guests and staff, just like all other institutions under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. Fortunately, we can still share our art collection online. I believe the arts can provide much-needed stimulation for the eye, soul and thought in these turbulent times, says Mikkel Bogh, director of SMK.
In recent days, SMK has used the digital channels to focus on subjects such as the artist Vilhelm Hammershøi (18641916) and the museum's large collection of French art from the period 19001930.
Use the art as you wish
At the same time, SMK offers everyone the opportunity of exploring the museums new online collection at open.smk.dk, where you can delve into more than 40,000 digitised works of art, complete with photos, 3D scans and explanatory and mediating texts.
Visitors can do more than simply look: approximately 30,000 of the works are in the Public Domain, meaning that they are not subject to copyright. This in turn means that you can download and use these photos exactly as you like. For example, you can print your own art posters, make pillows or T-shirts decorated by art prints, or use the pictures on your own website.
SMK Open was launched in November 2019 as part of SMKs strategy to make the museums collection accessible to all.