Creative Christmas: Inside the Embassy of Denmark’s “Hygge” Celebration

The annual holiday installation is open to the public for one day only, featuring works from Corcoran students and celebrated Danish artists.

By: Natalie Grasso

The Royal Danish Embassy’s fourth annual Creative Christmas collaboration with graduate students from the Corcoran College of Art + Design debuted last night at the Ambassador’s residence for a crowd cheered by the holiday season, balmy weather be damned. Dubbed “gather.Hygge,” the installation was inspired by the Danish idea of hygge (sounds like “hoogah”), which refers to the feelings of warmth and coziness stirred up by the concept of hearth and home.

The Corcoran team—MA Interior Design students Audrey Cotton and Jacqueline Hiersteiner, and MA Exhibition Design students Maizie Clarke and Alexandra Hunger—transformed the space with riffs on the shape of a triangle (think Christmas trees, pixie hats, and jewels). Parts of the installation showcased the work of several Danish artists, including Per Kirkeby, whose paintings are currently on display at the Phillips Collection through January 6, 2013, and Anna Ancher, whose work will be featured at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from February 15 to May 12, 2013. Renowned mixed media artist Gugger Petter’s series, “28 Mixed Candies,” was on display in the living room. Flickering candles, a jazz duo in the library, and Embassy chef Lars Beese’s bites of classic Danish cuisine drove the hygge home.

Because hygge has to been experienced in order to be fully understood, we encourage you to check it out for yourselves: The Ambassador’s residence will be open to the public on Thursday, December 6 from 3 PM to 5 PM. Visitors can view the exhibition, see the vast collection of original Modern Danish furniture and meet Petter, who will be on hand to discuss her work.

For more information about “gather.Hygge,” visit the Danish Embassy’s website.