Book Art & Art on Books

Double exhibition

13 June 2013 - 7 September 2013 Rotunda-01

One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – and yet. This summer a dou-ble exhibition in The Black Diamond pays tribute to the book as an object of art and of craftsmanship.

The book has always been more than just a useful item to pick up to read and immerse oneself in. From kings and princes in the past to collectors and book-lovers of the present the beautiful book has been revered as an object of art one would wish to own, admire and show to others. Typographers, bookbinders, graphic artists and designers have just as authors and visual artists done their utmost to create books that are sensuous – while at the same time developing craftsmanship and aesthetics in new directions.

The Royal Library pays tribute to the beautiful book in a major double exhibition that focuses on the craftsman-like execution and visual form of the book as an intrinsic expression.

On the occasion of the Danish Book Craft Society’s 125th anniversary the exhibition presents 50 carefully selected highlights from six centuries of Danish book art. The most accomplished books published in Denmark since 1482, from Flora Danica and the Danish Law of Christian V to Per Højholt’s Volumen and Halfdan Rasmussen’s ABC.

The exhibition also features a large selection of decorated book covers from 1820–1920, made by artists such as Joakim Skovgaard, Lorentz Frølich, P.S. Krøyer and Harald Slott-Møller. With their impressive and distinctive illustrations the covers represent a unique artistic and cultural-historical form of expression, which throughout generations have had an impact on the readers’ mind pictures.

The exhibitions put the book as aesthetic object into perspective and focus on the book’s status as a bridge between the physical world and the literary universe. The book emerges as an object of enormous cultural- historical importance. It has preserved a recognisable form through centuries and at the same time undergone puzzling and wonderful changes. To the delight of everyone who loves books.


Standard 40 kr.
Diamond club free
Students 25 kr.
Children (<16) gratis
School Classes 40 kr.

Tickets are sold at the information desk and are valid for all exhibitions

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10-19

In the foregrund  Palle Nielsens Orfeus og Eurydike (1959) . On the wall behind a section of the 165 spectacular book covers.

In the foreground two magnificent works from the 1700s illustrated with copper engravings. On the wall behind a section of the 165 spectacular book covers.