Life and Art – Tales from the Life of the Ancher Family

15 October 2021 – 10 April 2023 | Skagens Museum

Anchers Hus encapsulates the life of the entire Ancher family in objects and works of art. Underneath the surface – in cupboards, drawers, and attics – a wealth of objects, put away and forgotten, have emerged, conveying new narratives about Anna, Michael, and Helga Ancher and the environment that shaped their lives and painting. In this exhibition, we will be showing some of these objects and telling the stories they bring to life.

Among the objects are Anna Ancher’s diploma from the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, her painter’s smock, occasional songs written by P.S. Krøyer and Holger Drachmann, Michael Ancher’s samurai swords, sketchbooks belonging to the Ancher couple, the childhood drawings of Helga Ancher, the Ancher family photos, a silver wedding gift from Thorvald Bindesbøll, not forgetting the many famous and treasured paintings.

‘It was time for her confirmation and she was duly confirmed. Her old grandfather, the town’s patriarch and erstwhile influential figure was present, as was M.A. [Michael Ancher, tr.] who, on this occasion, held his first speech. He wished Miss Anna Bróndum happiness and much luck in life and with her art. The rogue.’ (Michael Ancher describing Anna Ancher’s confirmation in his autobiographical notes).

The exhibition presents a number of unique objects juxtaposed with selected works of art, allowing us a glimpse of the world in which Anna and Michael Ancher’s art was created and of the setting in which their daughter Helga grew up. Narratives about their social life and family life, interests, journeys, daily life, and parties are interwoven with their artistic life work in this exhibition which traces the life and art of the Ancher family.

These narratives bring us closer to the artists and their life work, their social and family life, interests, journeys, everyday life, and celebrations. Not least do the many different objects offer a new perspective on the art of Anna and Michael Ancher; they set the scene for the daily life of the couple, were frequently used as motifs by both artists, and provide new perspectives on the environment in which Anna and Michael Ancher’s art was created.

Objects, put away and forgotten, are accentuated and presented next to selected works of art.

In this exhibition, we present Anna Ancher’s diploma from the World Exhibition in 1900, the kerosene lamps presented to the couple as a silver wedding gift by Bindesbøll, occasional songs written by Drachmann and Krøyer, sketches for both Anna and Michael Ancher’s famous works, Anna Ancher’s painter’s smock, craft art by Svend Hammershøi, and others, as well as photos.

The exhibition traces their life and art.