ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
The ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum is an art museum in Aarhus, Denmark. ARoS is one of the largest art museums in northern Europe, 10 storeys tall with a total floor area of 17,000 m². The museum opened on 8 April 2004 after a construction process that started with Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen winning the design competition in 1997.
ARoS features a shop, café and restaurant. The architectural vision of the museum was completed in 2011 with the addition of the circular skywalk Your rainbow panorama by Ólafur Elíasson. The installation has helped boost the museum's attendance, making it the second most visited museum in Denmark, just behind the well-known Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek.
The museum is divided into three different permanent collections: The Danish "Golden Age" 1770–1900, Danish Modernism 1900–1960 and Contemporary Art.
But it also includes The 9 Spaces, a so-called "gallery in progress" of installation art, where 1 or 2 rooms are done each year. The number 9 refers to Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and the 9 circles of hell. The rooms are painted black to contrast with the bright white exterior. The roof terrace substitutes for the divine light your enter from hell. This way the whole museum is part of the travel from hell to heaven. This movement emphasised by the grand spiral staircase in the main 'museum streetscape'.
ARoS have featured some prominent changing exhibitions inspired, currated or made by the likes of Ólafur Elíasson, Bjørn Nørgaard, Ingvar Cronhammar, architect Frank Gehry, Paul McCarthy, Robert Rauschenberg, Michael Kvium, H.C. Andersen, Bill Viola and Wim Wenders. The first of these exhibitions presented a series of main works by pop artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. As many other modern art galleries and museums ARoS also plays great tribute to architects and their works having hosted several architecture themed exhibitions.
The museum roof is decorated with the installation Your rainbow panorama by Ólafur Elíasson. This circular skywalk has windows in the colors of the rainbow thereby showing the panorama of Aarhus in different colors depending on location of the viewer. The installation cost 60m kroner ($10.7m) to construct and was sponsored by the Realdania foundation. It was inaugurated on May 28, 2011. A second section, a glass lounge that guides visitors from the main museum building to Your rainbow panorama and houses another site-specific work, will open in 2014.
Besides finishing The 9 Spaces, and many future exhibits ARoS also plans to add a spherical structure with prisms to "Your rainbow panorama".
In 2010, before Eliasson’s piece opened, ARoS received 221,744 visitors. Two years later, more than 551,000 visitors came to the museum.
- Gulstad, Hanne Cecilie (28 August 2013). "Eliasson’s room with a rainbow view brings record visitors to Aros". The Art Newspaper.
- "Your rainbow panorama". Retrieved 8 Mar 2012.
- Visit Aarhus describes AROS as Aarhus's main art museum
- Description of "Your rainbow panorama" by the Realdania foundation (in danish)
- description of "Your rainbow panorama" by designboom.com
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