SMK (National Gallery of Denmark)

Rethinking the role of the 21st century museum

Where did we start?

The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) had been working to clarify their purpose and brand, but their new strategy had failed to take root internally and their team of leaders realised it did not communicate what their museum was about – a place to explore the significance of art on all our lives. SMK decided to look at their strategy again and this time asked us to lead this crucial process.

What did we do?

We know that for staff to feel ownership of the brand, they need to help create it. Through a series of dual language staff workshops, we tested, explored and refined a new and more ambitious strategy for SMK. At its heart was the central idea that 'art sparks new perspectives'; new perspectives on Denmark, on the world, on life, on people and on ourselves. Their vision was to lead the way in helping build a more creative and reflective society by re-thinking the role of a museum in the C21st, which has more to do with listening rather than telling. 

What's the impact?

These ideas were developed further in a 6 month engagement programme that explored the implications of the strategy on key projects including internal communications; front of house; the collections and their digital strategy, essentially helping staff take the brand from paper to practice.

“The Brand Platform that JWA developed for SMK has been useful in so many ways, particularly in helping to shape both the profiles and selection criteria for two recent high level appointments."


Mikkel Bogh, Director, SMK

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