The New Carlsberg Foundation

The New Carlsberg Foundation is a private and independent foundation for the arts. The effort to foster and benefit the arts in the founders’ fatherland forms the core of the foundation’s charter, which was signed on 20 January 1902 by brewer Carl Jacobsen and his wife, Ottilia Jacobsen.

On 20 January 1902, Carl Jacobsen and Ottilia Jacobsen signed a deed bestowing the New Carlsberg Brewery on the Carlsberg Foundation and founding the New Carlsberg Foundation. As laid out in its charter, the Carlsberg Foundation promotes the sciences, while the New Carlsberg Foundation promotes art and (and art research). 

As the overarching foundation, The Carlsberg Foundation holds a controlling interest in the Carlsberg breweries. However, the foundation is required to pass a portion of the proceeds from its shares on to the New Carlsberg Foundation. 

The Carlsberg Foundation holds a certain influence over the activities of the New Carlsberg Foundations, including the appointment of board members.

The New Carlsberg Foundation differs from many other foundations by being under professional leadership. It is headed by a board, comprising three members, one of whom is chairman of the board. The chairman is employed by the board full-time, while the two other members serve on the board alongside other occupation, again, typically within the arts.

The work of the New Carlsberg Foundation


The grants given by the New Carlsberg Foundation fall into three main categories: donations of works of art to museums, decorative projects and art research, while a non-earmarked fund is available for other art-related purposes. The foundation rests on the fundamental belief that art plays a major role for people’s ability to engage with the world in a critical and nuanced manner. Therefore, art should be made accessible to all – regardless of age, ethnicity and educational background.

In addition to the grants, the foundation’s board also offers advice, in particular to museum leadership, and generally strives to be a forum for the arts, where experiences can be exchanged, and new initiatives emerge.

Substantial annual donations reflect the New Carlsberg Foundation’s special obligation to the New Carlsberg Glyptothek, which was founded by Carl Jacobsen and opened in 1897. The board members of the foundation also serve on the board of the New Carlsberg Glyptothek, and the chairman of the foundation is also the chairman of the board of the Glyptothek.


The purpose of the Foundaion is to continue the work begun by Carl and Ottilia Jacobsen in the service of the arts by the establishment of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and other museums, the acquisition of works of art, the construction of monumental buildings, etc. and otherwise to foster and promote the knowledge and study of the arts and art history with the aim of developing and satisfying the appreciation of and desire for the arts in Denmark.

A young Carl Jacobsen.jpg