Ever since its inception in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Carlsberg brewery has been a role model in many areas across the realms of business, science, art, culture and patronage. J.C. Jacobsen and his wife, Laura Jacobsen’s initiative, vision and stability have been an inspiration for many subsequent generations. At Valby Bakke, they established a powerhouse of activity where their life and work merged. After the couple’s death, the villa served as an honorary residence for a succession of prominent and important scientists during most of the twentieth century before becoming the seat of the Carlsberg Academy.
Now, more than 150 years after the splendid villa was built, the Carlsberg Foundation has completed a thorough restoration on J.C. Jacobsen’s private home, greenhouses and garden. Caringly returning the estate to its former glory, so it can appear once again as it did when the Jacobsens lived here, supplemented with new artistic contributions. This effort is celebrated with this lavishly illustrated book presenting the villa, its surroundings and its rich history.
In the book’s main chapter, historian Birgitte Possing presents an entirely new narrative about J.C. and Laura Jacobsen and the values on which they built Carlsberg together. Using hitherto overlooked sources, Possing shows that Carlsberg was built by the joint efforts of a married couple working in tandem. Further chapters, written by experts within their respective fields, address the villa’s architecture, garden, artistic decoration and restoration, as well as the scientists, such as Niels Bohr, who lived in the house during its time as an honorary residence.