letters from the north

plants and paintings



On Thursday I got a full tour of the building that the Institute is housed in. Mette, who was back from a conference, showed me around and told me more stories and historical facts than I could write down! We went up into the archives and she spent some time showing me a few little drawings and watercolors done by a few people.

After, I joined Leif (pro. Life), the old director of the Institute who holds an honorary seat of course, at the Noratlantens Brygge, the building next to us that houses the Icelandic embassy, and representatives of Faoa Islands and Grønland. They have a show up commemorating the 100 years since the Danmark Ekspeditionen closed the gap in Northeast Grønland in 1906-08 and finished the circumference of Grønland. Three men died on this expedition. I will post some photos later of the show.

We also went on board a schooner that just got back from retracing the Expeditions route! It showed up on Wednesday barked outside the Institute and we got a small tour of the berths, a shot of Cuban rum, and talked for a while with the Captain. Leif had just met him and they are planning to do some event to show the public the ship before is leaves on the 26th.



Friday I joined Leif and his wife on a drive up to the coast to go to the retrospective of a famous Danish artist named Pers Kirkeby at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It was a very windy day and so the waves were all crashing up along the coastline. The Louisiana Museum is a fabulous museum that was once an old villa that they then added onto.







It had rotating shows plus a great permanent collection.





No photos were allowed at the Kirkeby section of the museum but he did huge paintings, sculpture, drawing, and these interesting brick architectural structures around Europe. I think I liked those the best. Some of his later paintings were intriguing, too. He was trained as a geologist and his work is influenced by this.

We then walked around the rest of the building.



Yesterday I biked around Copenhagen and it again was a very windy day. Only about 60 degrees but the sun was out so it did not feel as cold. My first stop was past the National Museum to see the 5th Thule collection again. Last summer I visited it but I wanted to see if they had changed around the collection. This was the expedition that Knud Rasmussen and 2 other greenlandic Esquimos made across the Canadian Arctic all the way to Siberia. He was trying to establish a theory of how the Inuit basically got to Grønland and their history. The collection is gigantic and amazing full of amulets, kayaks, furs, blubber lamps, needles, goggles, harpoons..and on and on. The museum is free and is focused on peoples around the world and through time.


I then biked over towards the ponds and into Norrebro and then met Pia, my roommate, at her university to get coffee.


She is in the anthropology department which is housed in the university building for Health and something, I can not remember. There are university buildings all over the city, each focusing on a different area of study. Last year, Pia spent a year in San Francisco doing her research on healing hands practices, the non-religious healing of the hands, more based in alternative medicine. That is what she is writing her dissertation on.

After parting ways, I wandered through the botanical garden which is right across the street from her. Lucky!






Shrub Monster!