Creating Cultural Heritage: Three Vignettes on Carl Jacobsen, His Museum and Foundation

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The paper addresses the larger question of how cultural heritage becomes taken for granted focusing on how cultural value becomes assigned. This is illustrated by taking departure in the case of Carl Jacobsen, an élite philanthropist, owner and founder of the New Carlsberg brewery, who came to have a profound effect on Danish cultural heritage through the establishment of the museum The New Carlsberg Glyptotek and the New Carlsberg Foundation in Copenhagen. Using archival sources, the paper investigates the mechanisms by which cultural value is assigned, conceptualizing these through framing, canonization and consecration. The paper shows the prominence of each mechanism with vignettes from the early work of Carl Jacobsen, to the contemporary work of the New Carlsberg Glyptotek and the New Carlsberg Foundation. In doing so, the paper sheds light on the managerial and organizational processes of cultural meaning-making as well as the way in which élite philanthropy may directly and indirectly influence the cultural heritage of a nation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement & Organizational History
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)283-301
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 21. November 2018


  • Cultural history
  • Cultural heritage
  • Élite philanthropy
  • Carlsberg
  • Museums
  • Art foundations

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