Museum Ovartaci in Aarhus offers an encounter with the history of Danish psychiatry and one of Europe’s largest collections of great and moving art created by people suffering from mental illness, designated l’Art Brut: raw / untamed art.
A visit with several dimensions
A visit to the museum takes in several dimensions. Here you are in close contact with the history of psychiatry, with the famous Danish architect Bindesböll’s beautiful buildings dating back to 1852 combining with the historical exhibition to portray life in an otherwise secluded and obscure world.
Museum is influenced by working artists
The museum is rather unusual in that it is characterized by a high level of activity on an everyday basis – by means of handicrafts, special exhibitions by both well-known and not-so-well-known artists, and within various other artistically creative areas. This is what makes the museum a living experience.
Wide range of works
Ovartaci, naturally, takes the position as the central artist of the art museum’s exhibition and collections. The extensive Ovartaci exhibition lends tone and perspective to the wide range of other excellent and important works the museum presents – including those by many younger artists. Ovartaci was a globe-trotter of the mind. He went exploring the visions of his rich inner world and returned with fantastic tales in words and pictures describing what he had seen and experienced.
The museum aims to breaking down taboos
Psychiatry is surrounded by a combination of schisms, untutored fascinations, and preconceived opinions. The aims of the museum are demystification and the breaking down of taboos – Museum Ovartaci present psychiatry in all its facets and try to impart knowledge and understanding of mental illness.
A museum without prejudice
The museum imparts this knowledge by means of an unprejudiced and forthright statement – also in terms of the darker sides, but at the museum the objective is to cast the darkness in the perspective of light. In the words of the artist and inmate Ovartaci: “Create hope and walk away a free man” – a tribute to the urge to create, to imagine and to live, even when it hurts the most.