The Angli Courtyard

The ceramic painting “The Play of Imagination around the Wheel of Life” from 1966-68 in the inner courtyard of the Angli building is the first monumental ornamentation in Herning made by Carl-Henning Pedersen and indirectly the reason why ten years later his own museum was established in this city.

In the mid-1950s, Carl-Henning Pedersen was introduced to the shirt manufacturer Aage Damgaard who had attracted national attention for introducing the workers at his factories in Herning to art. Damgaard, at the time, played an active role in bringing art down from its ivory tower and making it accessible to the ordinary worker.

Aage Damgaard contacted Carl-Henning Pedersen in the early 1960s when he needed an artist to decorate the inner courtyard of his new factory building in Birk, a suburb of Herning: the Angli Courtyard. Carl-Henning Pedersen was persuaded to take on the ornamentation of an area of more than a thousand square metres. He chose glazed ceramic tiles for the assignment, but before starting work on the tiles themselves he practised by drawing his well-known figures directly onto the wall of the building in black paint. This was not a true preparatory sketch, however, and the finished work ended up consisting of 15 individual images separated by ornamental bands.

The ornamentation assignment at Angli caused Carl-Henning Pedersen to form strong connections to a number of influential people in Herning. This network of connections played an instrumental part in the 1976 establishment of Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelts Museum as an 'artists' museum' next to the Angli factory in Birk, which from the late 1970s till September 2009 housed Herning's Art Museum.

Upon the death of Carl-Henning Pedersen in 2007, the urn containing his ashes was buried in the Angli Courtyard. Thus, he is laid to rest among the fantastical visions of his own imagination.

The Angli Courtyard is open to the public free of charge.