Curator(s): Nivi Christensen, Director; Stine Lunberg Hansen, Curator
Number of works: 500+ Greenlandic Inuit (historical and contemporary)
First work(s): The collection was founded on a 2006 donation by Svend and Helene Junge, which included several hundred tupilait and other sculptural works.
Svend Junge was a Danish entrepreneur who settled in Nuuk in the 1950s and began buying small tupilait from hospitalized tuberculosis patients.
Recent acquisition(s): Arctic Hysteria (1996) by Greenlandic Inuit/Danish artist Pia Arke (1958-2007)—an artist who worked extensively with archives—is the first video work in the collection.
Significant exhibitions: Revner i sjaelen // Tarnip Qupineri (2016) was a solo exhibition of works by Greenlandic artist Gukki Nuka. The exhibition of self-portraits documented the artist’s childhood sexual abuse and marked the first time he had spoken openly about it. The exhibition was powerful for its ability to break down taboos.
Interesting/unique/surprising works in the collection: Writer Niviaq Korneliussen and artist Lisbeth Karline Poulsen collaborated on a piece titled Radiofjeldet (2016).
The image is the result of their joint installation for the exhibition Ordet-(asiliaq) (2016), which considered the tensions around language (Greenlandic and Danish) in Greenland.
As the stewards of the largest collection of Greenlandic art that is publicly accessible, one of our main goals is to address the gaps that arise from being built on a private collection. The goal of our larger acquisition policy is to challenge and enhance our existing collection by continually adding new and different perspectives, such as the recent Arke acquisition. We also run a residency program focused on artists from the Nordic countries. As part of the program, visiting artists are required to leave one of their newly created works with the museum. These works, made in Nuuk and in relation to the collection, become an encounter between the artists, the museum and the city. — SLH