Special Exhibition: ‘Fur – An Issue of Life and Death’

Until February 22nd 2015 The National Museum of Denmark presents the special exhibition ‘Fur – An Issue of Life and Death’. The exhibition explores the museum’s unique collection of historical fur clothing from the indigenous peoples of the Arctic, displays contemporary fur designs, and puts ethical debates on the agenda.


Press images available - please see attachments below text. 

For the first time in history, The National Museum of Denmark displays its unique collection of fur garments from the regions of the Arctic Circle in the exhibition ‘Fur – An Issue of Life and Death’, which is on show until February 22nd 2015.

The special exhibition includes 60 garments from The National Museum’s unique collection of fur clothing, which is one of the largest in the world with almost 2,000 historical fur garments. They are exhibited alongside modern fur creations, drawing historical links from the garments of the past to the fur garments of the present, industrial fur farming and modern hunting in the Arctic. The historical use of fur is thus located in a contemporary context, where people still wear fur and when now as in the past wearing fur is about much more than simply keeping warm.

The ethical dimensions of fur farming and modern hunting are a central theme of the exhibition. With ‘Fur – An Issue of Life and Death’ The National Museum aims to create a platform for debate on fur farming and hunting, asking visitors whether raising and hunting animals for their fur is ethically responsible today.

In the section ‘Voices in the Debate’ museum visitors meet around 50 supporters and opponents of fur farming and hunting. Together with designers, politicians, public figures, experts and people on the street, they present their opinions on fur farming, hunting and sustainability in both statements and videos. Visitors can try on real, fake and even ‘blood spattered’ furs, and can also express their own opinions about fur in selfies and text messages, which are incorporated in the exhibition itself.

Fur as a Social Symbol
The historic fur garments were collected from around 1850 to 1950 in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Siberia and the Sami areas of Scandinavia. There was a time when fur was essential for survival. But fur had other functions than protecting against the cold. Fur garments signalled their owners’ gender and status in society, as well as telling which ethnic group people belonged to.

In the exhibition, visitors to the museum can also experience around 30 modern creations made of fur, sealskin and artificial fur, which The National Museum has on loan from a range of designers including Bendikte Utzon and Nikoline Liv Andersen from Denmark, as well as Greenlandic designs like those by Nicki Isaksen, and the creations of international designers and fashion houses like Yves Saint Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Oscar de la Renta, and Jean Paul Gaultier. The contemporary garments give visitors the opportunity to see the design of historical fur garments reflected in modern designs, forging links between the past and the present.

About the exhibition:
Title:                   Fur – An Issue of Life and Death

Location:           The Egmont Hall, The National Museum of Denmark
Period:               October 4th 2014 – February 22nd 2015

Fur – An Issue of Life and Death’ is entirely funded by The National Museum of Denmark and has no external sponsors. Admission to the exhibition is free, and the exhibition generates no profit for the museum. The museum has borrowed fur garments from a range of Danish designers, fashion houses and the fur industry. During the exhibition, The National Museum of Denmark is hosting a series of events, guided tours and lectures, as well as a debate. The museum has also produced teaching materials and an educational programme focussing on the ethical dimensions of modern fur farming and hunting.

For further information please contact:
Press relations manager Henrik Schilling, The National Museum of Denmark

Tel.: + 45 41 20 60 16. E-mail: Henrik.Schilling@natmus.dk