The Søren Kierkegaard Collection
The world famous philosopher put his mark on Copenhagen, both spiritually and physically speaking. At the Museum of Copenhagen a unique collection of Kierkegaard’s personal belongins is on display. The collection is one of a kind, since Kierkegaards belongings were scattered to the winds at an auction over the things he left behind in the spring of 1856.
Today, Wednesday 20. of March, is the last day, that you can explore the Kierkegaard exhibition!
The Søren Kierkegaard Collection at the Museum of Copenhagen contains items that have either been in the possesion of the world famous philosopher or things that can be related to this essential thinker. In the collection, you’ll find furniture, personal belongings and portraits depicting Kierkagaards parents and his fiancée Regine Olsen as well as chandeliers that used to light up Kierkegaards dwellings, his wallet, silver mounted meerschaum pipes and presentation copies of Kiekegaard’s works.
A true Copenhagener
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was born, lived and died in Copenhagen. In his brief life he very rarely travelled abroad, and thus his world famous body of work was coming into existence within the ramparts defining the capital in the first half of the 19th century. Kierkegaard was a renowned figure in the streets of Copenhagen, as he took pleasure in strolling and observing his fellow human son lengthy walks. Meanwhile, the philosopher was himself an object of observation as well as satirical attacks on his person from among others the magazine the Corsar, from where the sketch to the right is taken from.
13 tempestuous months
Two months after his final university examination, Kierkegaard was engaged to Regine Olsen who was nine years his senior. The young woman was to play a defining role in Kierkegaards life and writings. He called the engagement of after 13 tempestuous months in 1841, but kept a keen interest in Regine Olsen for the rest of his life, which some of the items on display at the Museum of Copenhagen testify. In the Søren Kierkegaard Collection, the gold engagement ring that was given to Regine Olsen by Kierkegaard is exhibited. Regine Olsen gave Kierkegaard the ring back once he called of the engagement, and due to legend, the philosopher had the five diamonds of the ring mounted into a cross, which he bore to the day he died. After the break-up, Regine Olsen went on to marry Johan Frederik Schlegel who was later to become the governor of the Danish West Indies. The ring Kierkegaards successor gave Regine Olsen on their engagement day is also on display in the Søren Kierkegaard Collection.
A cupboard without shelves
Among the gems of the Collection is a unique Brazilian Rosewood pedestal cupboard that was made according to Kierkegaard’s instruction for a particularly moving reason. In the philosopher’s own choice of words, the cupboard was “...constructed according to my design and this because of something my beloved said in her agony: She said that she would willingly thank me all her life for my permission to remain with me, even if she had to live in a small cupboard. With an eye to this, this cupboard is constructed to be without shelves. - Everything is kept carefully in the cupboard, everything that reminds me of her and all that could remind her of me”.
Click the Time line to explore the life of Søren Kierkegaard (Danish). This online version of the Collection has been realized with the aid of a string of web components developed by the Heritage Agency of Denmark.