The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives


Researching the material 2013-2021

During the years 2013-2021 selected written primary sources that illuminate Bertel Thorvaldsen’s work, and published at this site, will be examined thoroughly.

Principal editors 2013-2021

  • Ernst Jonas Bencard,, art historian, project manager until 2019
  • Karen Benedicte Busk-Jepsen,, art historian
  • Nanna Kronberg Frederiksen,, art historian
  • Kira Kofoed,, art historian, project manager from 2019
  • Lejla Mrgan, cand.mag., art historian, maternity cover 2015 and 2016-2017

Student assistants

  • Sandra Tøttrup Jensen, sociology of religion (2013-2015)
  • Lejla Mrgan, art history (2014-2015)
  • Thor Huus, art history (2015-2017)
  • Hans Erik Havsteen, history (2015-2017)
  • Mads Aakjær Reinert, classical philology (2017-2019)
  • Bernadette Alster, art history (2017-2018)
  • Isabella Boelsgaard, art history (2018-2019)
  • Kristine Balduin Lee, art history (2019-)


  • Karen Husum, cand.mag., english
  • Karen Jelved, ph.d., english
  • David Possen, ph.d., social sciences and philosophy

Publishing the material and initial research 2006-2011

Between 2006 and 2011 more than 8000 documents from, to and about Bertel Thorvaldsen have been edited and published on this platform. The publication encompasses letters and documents in Bertel Thorvaldsen’s archives in Thorvaldsens Museum and also documents relating to Thorvaldsen that have been preserved in other archives. During this period, a close scrutiny of the source material was begun, including the addition of explanatory commentaries to the individual documents, subject headings, etc.

Principal editors 2006-2011

  • Inge Lise Mogensen Bech,, art historian
  • Ernst Jonas Bencard,, art historian, project manager
  • Kira Kofoed,, art historian

Student assistants

  • Sofie Olesdatter Bastiansen, art history (2009-2011)
  • Malte Blas, history and communication (2010-2011)
  • Peter Hovmand, comparative literature (2010-2011)
  • Maria Jørgensen, comparative literature (2008-2010)
  • Marie-Louise Gelså Kirkelund, modern culture and cultural communication (2008-2009)
  • Kirstine Reffstrup, comparative literature and art history (2007-08)

Transcription 2010-2011

A large amount of documents at Thorvaldsens Museum have been transcribed during 2010-2011 by the following:

  • Lasse Jonas Bendtsen, cand.mag., history
  • Laura Bjerrum, cand.mag., history and art history
  • Birgit Christensen,, nordic philology
  • Bjørn Westerbeek Dahl, librarian
  • Ole Jorn, cand.mag., ph.d., Italian
  • Giulia Longo, cand.mag., ph.d., philosophy
  • Alberto Manai, ph.d., Italian
  • The editors of the Archives has also contributed to the transcription.

See also the How to Use the Archives and the article on The History of the Archives for further details on the contents of the database, the early history of the project and earlier contributors. See also under Acknowledgements for details of support for the project by other persons. On the copyright for the texts in the Archives and conditions for quoting from them, see Copyright.

Earlier Contributors

Numerous persons have contributed to collecting, registering, transcribing, commenting etc. at some earlier stage. The work kan be divided into three main periods:

  • the earliest contributors – from Thorvaldsen’s time until 1932
  • contributors connected with the earlier publication project – 1932-1963
  • preparatory work for the present publication project – 1996-2006.

The contributor’s possible relation to Thorvaldsens Museum (THM) is indicated after the contributors’ name.

Contributors prior to 1932
Contributor Period Contribution
J.M. Thiele, author 1826-1874 Collection of materials, the discovery of a large number of letters in Rome, sorting and marking of letters with serial numbers and dates, transcription, personal and art-historical comments, indexes
Andreas Christian Schumacher, pattern maker
custodian in THM
1896-1919 Arranging the documents in folders, index of letters and card index
Peter Johansen, art historian 1897-1899 Drawing up of chronological list of the contents of the physicial archives then
Andreas Røder, art historian,
acting curator at THM 1915-1916
1897-1899 Assistant to Peter Johansen in drawing up the chronological list of the contents of the archives then
L. Laursen, archive secretary 1899 Assistant to Peter Johansen in drawing up the chronological list of the contents of the archives then
Mario Krohn, art historian, director of THM 1916-1921 1916-1921 Contribution includes reading through memoirs etc. in search of references to Thorvaldsen, collecting materials relevant to Thorvaldsen’s reception in his own time, establishing a card index with huge numbers of notes on everything concerning Thorvaldsen’s life and work
Emil Hannover, art historian Ca. 1916-1921 Presumably assisting Mario Krohn in establishing card index of Thorvaldsen literature
D.E. Ruggaard, philologist 1922 Transcription of Thorvaldsen’s diary from 1797
Vilhelm Marstrand, engineer 1923 Fair copy of the above
Contributors to the earlier publication project 1937-1963
Contributor Period Contribution
Sigurd Schultz, art historian
director of THM 1932-1963
1932-1963 Initiator of the project
Louis Bobé, historiographer of the orders of chivalry 1937 Co-initiator of the project
Torben Juel, university student of art history,
student assistant at THM 1935-1936
ca. 1935-1937 Transcription and translation
Else Kai Sass, art historian, student assistant 1937-1945
curator in THM 1945-1954
1937-1954 Extensive art-historical commentaries
Øjvind Andreasen, philologist 1937-1956 Collection of materials, extensive transcription, biographical commentaries, registers
Meir Stein, art historian 1939-1943, 1945 og 1954-1956 Art-historical commentaries
Ingeborg Stemann, lecturer 1952 Translation of Polish literature concerning Thorvaldsen
Romana Heltberg, lecturer 1952 Translation of Polish literature concerning Thorvaldsen
Dyveke Helsted, art historian, curator in THM, 1963-1989, director of THM 1954-1974 Art-historical commentaries
Preparatory work for the present project 1996-2006
Contributor Period Contribution
Stig Miss, art historian, director of THM, 1989- 1996 ff. Responsible for the project
Jens Keld, philologist 1996-2001 Collection of material, transcription and collation of over 4000 letters, biographical commentaries, registers
Margrethe Floryan, art historian, curator in THM 1995 ff. 1996-2004 Collection of material from European and American archives, preliminary examination of Russian correspondence
Margherita Merello Thomsen 1999 Transcription of parts of the Italian correspondence in the Archives in collaboration with Jens Keld
Salvatore Brogaard, art teacher 2001 Adviser on parts of the Italian correspondence in the Archives in collaboration with Jens Keld
Jørgen Korsgaard-Pedersen, ambassador 2001 Adviser on parts of the French correspondence in the Archives in collaboration with Jens Keld
Ernst Jonas Bencard, art historian, senior research fellow in THM 2004-2019 Preliminary examination of the earliest, mainly Danish correspondence, fundraising, project leader from 2006 onwards

Translation by Glyn Jones

Last updated 04.08.2020