From the Danish Royal Family’s Lofts and Cellars
In the royal palaces a wealth of memories from past times slumbers from cellar to attic. Now the Royal Danish Collection has awakened a selection of them in the exhibition ‘From the Danish Royal Family’s Lofts and Cellars’ at Amalienborg. HM The Queen and the Royal Family’s curator Elisabeth von Buchwald have cherry picked from storerooms and magazines for the exhibition, which recreates eight of the Royal Family’s depots through more than 2000 objects.
Hoarded, Forgotten, Revisited
We all hoard things, and the Royal Family are no exception. It is the same drive that is present in others – some things are difficult to let go of. Things that represent a symbolic or material value, and objects that tell stories about an event or a longed-for person. The desire to hoard things is about identity, about being conscious of the family story and of history.
To be able to present 2000 items of royal belongings in one exhibition is a veritable goldmine for the Royal Danish Collection, which is dedicated to presenting royal history. The objects range from the humble to the lavish, from the whimsical to the serious, from the very private to the more official, from the worn to the almost unused. There are older and newer items of clothing for children and adults, an entire hat making workshop, furniture from the last 300 years, art, souvenirs and special collections, several generations of toys, quantities of porcelain and tableware, unusual silverware and old items of jewellery, machines, and household items inherited from the large extended royal family, and practical objects which have functioned as little cogs in the royal machine room.
The exhibited objects from the royal lofts and cellars have survived the passage of time and all feature layers of traces of lived life. They testify to their owners, the whims of fashion, and various utilitarian functions that are now forgotten – but many of them have a collective value, and part of common history is to be found in the lofts and cellars.
Queen Alexandrine’s (1879-1952) monkey cage, which her monkey, called Monkey, sat in. The monkey hissed at people with dentures.
A Glimpse Behind Closed Doors
The Royal Family’s curator Elisabeth von Buchwald had the idea for the exhibition in connection with a comprehensive digital registration of the Royal Family’s private collections. She stumbled upon a cornucopia of forgotten objects and trinkets, which were hidden in the palaces’ magazines and under eaves, in cupboards, lofts and cellars. Along with the objects 300 years of history tumbled off the shelves – and the idea for an exhibition that offers the chance to look behind closed doors and into the royal lofts and cellars was born.
The idea of focusing on the hidden and partly forgotten objects from the Royal Family’s depots and magazines awoke HM The Queen’s interest. The Queen has herself been an active participant in the exhibition, and has taken part in selecting objects as well as recorded sound files that form part of the exhibition. Visitors will be able to hear the Queen talk about her personal relationship to or the historical background for several of the items.
The Crown Prince and Prince Joachim’s sailor suits, which they were often photographed in at the beginning of the 1970s.
Shane Brox Creates the Exhibition Design
For the recreation of the eight depots at Amalienborg, Elisabeth von Buchwald and the Royal Danish Collection have allied themselves with Shane Brox, who with his imaginative and playful style will make the exhibition ‘From the Danish Royal Family’s Lofts and Cellars’ into a special aesthetic and visual experience for visitors. In the Gala Hall and the other magnificent rooms, Shane Brox will recreate the atmosphere of lofts and cellars; the chandeliers in the ostentatious rooms will be wrapped up, the windows blocked out, and the original storage boxes left standing. The objects are truthful in the sense that they haven’t been repaired, put in order, polished or dusted. In the exhibition Shane Brox will create a space where the public can be allowed to explore and experience a sense of childlike wonder and tremulous excitement at the dusty, the quiet, and the mysterious.
Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim’s children’s go-karts with crown number plates.
In connection with the exhibition the Royal Danish Collection is publishing the book ‘From the Danish Royal Family’s Lofts and Cellars’, which explores in-depth a large number of objects from the exhibition. The publication is written by Elisabeth von Buchwald with photos by Kamilla Bryndum.
You will find opening hours HERE.