Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the secret pouch...


after my opening in berlin, i came to odense to visit the hans christian andersen museum, which was pretty amazing. i specifically came to see some things which i will so some lengthy postings on once i'm home.

the photo above was one of numerous surprises in the museum, which laid out andersen's life via most of the ephemera he'd collected over the years. travel objects, stones, pressed flowers, photos, theater tickets, etc.

this leather pouch was found on andersen's chest when he died. it contained a letter from his first true love, riborg voigt; who andersen had asked to marry him. voigt refused his proposal because she was already engaged to be married. unknown to anyone, andersen kept her goodbye letter in this pouch, pressed against his heart for roughly 50 years. j. collin, one of andersen's friends, found the letter upon his death and burned it before reading it...

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Blogger kclare said...

Well, I’m taking a moment to comment (even though I’m not supposed to be looking at blogs right now), if only because I am so envious – I LOVE Andersen and have always mulled over all these little artifacts in the books, hoping to go to Odense myself one day! It is nice, however, to hear about your travels…

I thought the letter still existed for some reason… Did you get to see the little bouquet he gave to Riborg or the pincushion he made? This is just so like Andersen to press a little pouch to his heart for 50 years – the most tragic of all… I also love his little drawings and paper-cuttings…the drawing of those little dancing dervishes and the one of Vesuvius with the tall trees…

12:01 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Excellent post (again I'm encountering it very late). I stumbled upon this book a couple years ago. I wish they would have included the ones in color. You can get it for $4, brand new:

The Amazing Paper Cuttings of Hans Christian Andersen

Scrolling through those museum archives is quite wonderful.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Some of Andersen's art anticipates Cubism, too. He used the papercuts - as he used his storytelling - as a way of defusing social awkwardness.

Too late to say more today, except I am looking forward to exploring your blog, having just found it through Will at Journey Round My Skull.

4:22 PM  

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