In Life and Art

15 October 2022 – 10 April 2023

The exhibition Ancher – In Life and Art presents many of the numerous treasures – hidden and forgotten – which have come to light during a review of the artists’ home in Skagen performed over the past eight years coupled with the new narratives emerging from that. This exhibition will shed new light on how life and art was interlinked in the Ancher family.

Among the items on display in the exhibition are: the copper kettle from Michael Ancher’s breakthrough work Pigen med solsikkerne (Girl with Sunflowers), his wedding ring, Anna Ancher’s painter’s smock, her diploma from the World Exhibition in 1900, the couple’s work sketches, photos, letters, Helga Ancher’s drawing books and book collection, as well as the print of the Virgin Mary seen in Anna Ancher’s famous Solskin i den blå stue (Sunlight in the Blue Room).

New narratives

Ancher – In Life and Art shows links between objects and works of art, prompting more narratives about the Ancher family. The process from sketches to finished paintings is traced, elaborated in the letters concerning their sale and, in turn, loans with a view to showing them. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the painter’s smock, pochade box, and easel suddenly make a complete picture. Finally, the exhibition provides new perspectives on the otherwise reticent Helga Ancher. Practically the only existing material about her is biographical, but a peep into her hidey-holes reveals a person who cared about animals, was well-informed internationally, and acutely aware of her own heritage.

Treasures and works of art are presented in a vivid scenography, where children and adults alike can explore the works of art, peep shows, unique objects, and photos.

Among the items on display in the exhibition are:

Michael Ancher: The Girl with the Sunflowers. 1893. Art Museums of Skagen. The copper kettle seen in Michael Ancher’s painting The Girl with the Sunflowers. 1893. Shown here with a registration card from the National Museum of Denmark. Art Museums of Skagen.


Michael Ancher: A watercolourist. 1896. Watercolour box, presumably belonging to Helga Ancher.


Anna and Michael Ancher: Judgement of a Day’s Work. 1883. Permanent loan, 1991, National Gallery of Denmark. Art Museums of Skagen. Michael Ancher’s wedding ring. Art Museums of Skagen.

We would like to thank the following foundations for their generous financial support to help realise this project:

Queen Margrethe’s and Prince Henrik’s Foundation

The New Carlsberg Foundation

Thanks are also due to the following enterprises which have supported the project with sponsorships:

Bygholm Wood

Linolie & Pigment


Finally, warm words of thanks to the main sponsor of the Art Museums of Skagen: SKAGEN Fondene


Video (select subtitles in English): The restoration of the set Anna Ancher wore for Michael Ancher’s 75th birthday. The set is featured in the exhibition.


Video (select subtitles in English):The restoration of Bindesbøll’s kerosene lamps from Anchers Hus. Both lamps are featured in the exhibition.


Video: Time lapse of the construction of the exhibition