The Museum Collection At the Psychiatric History Museum one can find an extensive collection of artefacts dating from the opening of the hospital in 1852 to more recently. The exhibition includes period furniture from the First, Second and Third Class accomodations, cooking utensils, medical instruments, works created by patients and tools from the hospital workshops. Also on display is a poster exhibition about the history of psychiatry, and photos depicting life inside the Jutland Asylum. The exhibition contributes to the demystification of mental illness through a thought-provoking insight into a number of human destinies within an otherwise closed world. It tells of an extraordinary chapter in the history of Denmark, seen through the lens of psychiatry, and at the same time mirroring the surrounding community’s attitudes throughout the period.
Artist for 56 years in a Psychiatric hospital: Louis Marcussen also known as Ovartaci, died in 1985 at the age of 91, after 56 years stay at the Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, Denmark. Ovartaci was a qualified painter and decorator. At the age of 31 he left for Argentina, where he stayed for a period of 3 years. During his stay there he became mentally ill. Shortly after his return to Denmark in 1929 he was admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, where he stayed till his death. Throughout his whole life as a patient, Ovartaci was extremely productive as an artist and found admirers such as Asger Jorn and Jean Dubuffet. However, even if it had been possible, Ovartaci had no ambition about leaving the safe haven of the hospital in order to pursue a career as an artist. The Museum exhibits an extensive collection of Ovartaci’s oeuvre.
Characteristic of Ovartaci’s art is his fascination of the female. Like elevated creatures they all have large almond-shaped eyes and long, graceful limbs. Ovartaci found that woman is the most sublime creature – the creator of life and a picture of perfection.