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Museum Ovartaci

At Museum Ovartaci, topics about the mind, mental conditions and the whole human being are illustrated through art and cultural history.

Between now and the official reopening in the spring of 2023 the Museum will have a number of special exhibitions.

The two permanent collections – a comprehensive collection of work created by people with mental disorders, and a collection of objects from the first psychiatric hospital in Denmark from 1852 until today to illustrate the history of psychiatry in Denmark – contribute to removing prejudices and create an understanding of mental illness.

Ovartaci – the Chief Lunatic

The centrepiece of the Museum is the artist Ovartaci who spent 56 years as a patient at the hospital. His completely unique style illustrates both the institution, the history and the freedom to express oneself through art. Ovartaci was born at Ebeltoft in Denmark and christened Louis Marcussen. He came up with the name Ovartaci himself – as a way of tweaking the Danish word ‘Overtosse’ (Chief Lunatic). Ovartaci’s unique art affects everybody – not because he was a psychiatric patient or strange, but because of the undeniable strength and artistic quality that can be found in his work.

The comprehensive and unique art collection of the Museum is an important piece in the jigsaw of the entire art scene and in the history of art. From 23 April until 27 November 2022 it is possible to view 26 of Ovartaci’s works at the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale. At the same time, Museum Ovartaci has the special exhibition Ovartaci in Venice which illustrates the importance of Ovartaci’s presence at the Venice Biennale.

A Unique Insight into Psychiatry

The collection of the Museum gives a unique insight into art and the human mind. Topical themes covered in the exhibitions open up totally new perspectives and dialogues that provide new insights into mental illnesses and contribute to reduce existing prejudices when meeting people with mental disorders.

The Museum also runs creative workshops, a framing service and offer activities for children and young people.

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