Hendrik Christian Andersen was a Norwegian-American sculptor, who was born in 1872 and died in 1940. Although his name is similar to another H. C. Andersen, then the two of them has nothing in common. Hendrik was born in Bergen, Norway and he is presumably the only Norwegian who has a museum in Italy. We will come back to this,
but first we take some time to get to know him. After Hendrik was born, the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Rhode Island in the state of the same name.
Art School in USA
Hendrik entered the School of Fine Arts in Boston and after having finished there, he traveled around Europe from 1894 to 1897. He settled in Rome with his youngest brother, who was a pianist, his mother and the widow of his deceased older brother. His older brother was a painter but died already in 1902. Hendrik quickly became known for his large and classical sculptures that were inspired by Michelangelo. But he had other dreams and his greatest lifework was to create a metropolis that was to be filled with art. He wanted this peace project to be built just south of Rome. The main edifice of his was unfortunately only his own house, which was built in Rome in 1922. During his tenure as an artist he managed to create many fine sculptures and when he died in 1940, his house in Rome where entrusted to the Italian State. Still, it took almost 60 years before the museum was finally able to open its doors to visitors.
More than 400 pieces
The house he had built was called Villa Helene, and as mentioned he had bequeathed it to the Italian government. Before it could be used as a museum, it was his wish that his adoptive sister should live in the house as long as she lived. She lived there until 1978, and then the house went through an extensive restoration. Therefore, it was not opened as a museum until 1999. Here is exhibited 400 artworks that he had worked with throughout his career. Ranging from neoclassical sculptures to his plans for a world center for communication, his tools and parts of his wardrobe. In the upper floor of the museum there are often exhibitions of other artists.
When visiting Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum you will get a good insight into the life of an artist who had great success abroad. The museum is located in Via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, 20, 00196 Rome, Italy. The nearest metro station is Flaminio and in the same area you will find famous places like Villa Borghese and Piazza del Popolo. The museum is open every day from 09.30 to 19.30, except Mondays where they are closed. Read what others think about the museum on tripadvisor.