Earlier this month we hosted a visit by eleven librarians and art administrators from Denmark organized by the Miami-Dade Public Library System. Last week we had two special group tours come to the Wolfsonian museum and library. In preparing for that visit, I was surprised to see just how many Danish items we had in our collections. In my blog post describing that visit, I included a couple of images from the dark period of the German occupation during the Second World War.

Today I thought I’d provide a larger sampling of some of our rare Danish materials. Although renowned for our rare propaganda materials, our library collection also contains strong holdings of items documenting the art, architecture, design, and travel and transportation developments in the period 1851 through the mid-twentieth century. Our Danish holdings reflect all of these areas of interest. We have, for example, a number of books dealing with Denmark’s shipping industry. Below you can see a book commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Det forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (United Steamship Company) and another celebrating the fiftieth year anniversary of the Burmeister & Wain Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri shipyard and engine-building firm.

Another Danish item dealing with travel and transportation is a children’s book celebrating the technologies of speed. The book was intended to educate young readers about the latest developments in trains, planes, automobiles, ocean liners, zeppelins and to keep them entertained by collecting and affixing colorful stickers.

Other rare books in our collection published in the 1930s document the Danish interest in modern architecture, Functionalism, and the construction of social housing projects.

The themes of industrial design and the decorative arts are also well-covered in our Danish holdings. The library holds several items documenting industrial exhibitions and fairs showcasing beautifully designed glassware, porcelain, chairs, cabinets, and other functionalist home furnishings.


Finally, I thought I’d include another propagandistic tract from our Danish holdings. This one, entitled, Attende April 1934, includes a photomontage cover and Martin Jensen’s poetic critique of capitalism, social fascism, and Nazism published a year after Adolf Hitler seized power in neighboring Germany.

~ by "The Chief" on May 17, 2011.


  1. It’s good to know that things are NOT rotten in the state of Denmark. 😉

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