Our Passion For Art
Anyone visiting our general headquarters in Svendborg is bound to notice all the artwork on display in our offices and hallways.
Sometimes, you feel like you’re in an art gallery rather than in the administrative offices of a tobacco manufacturing company, and, to some extent, it’s true.
Who ever said that offices can’t be both functional places and spaces in which to exhibit art?
The decision to work in an environment which features paintings and sculptures is not an aesthetic one. We do not view art as a luxury decoration to impress our partners when they come and visit us.
The bond between the Halberg family and art is a lot deeper. It is the story of a passion which over the years has been passed on to a large number of people within the company and which we experience as an integral part of our professional life, sometimes even without realising.
Jørgen Halberg. Journeys and Colours
Everything started in the years in which Jørgen Halberg, our current owner Henrik Halberg’s father, was at the helm of the company.
In addition to inventing the Mac Baren pipe blend, Jørgen was a great art enthusiast.
As a member of the Tobacco Industry Association in Copenhagen, he often went to the Danish capital for work-related purposes.
The impressive bridges which now connect the Danish islands did not exist at the time, so, back in the day, getting from A to B in Denmark was rather time-consuming. Consequently, Mr. Halberg, had to stay overnight in the capital and therefore had time to roam the streets of Copenhagen and visit numerous art galleries and ateliers.
Today, at our headquarters, you can find many – often very colourful – pieces that Jørgen Halberg brought to Svendborg.
Jørgen Halberg’s legacy
Jørgen Halberg left an indelible mark on the history of our company.
It is our duty to remember Jørgen Halberg for his entrepreneurial foresightedness, but we must also honour his limitless passion for art, which he succeeded in passing on to those near him. This is why Per Buch, our President, suggested establishing an art club with the aim of keeping people’s interest in art high, and organise exhibitions in the company.
Art for everyone and belonging to everyone
Today, the art club has over 80 members and it is a consolidated reality of our company. Each member invests a small amount per month. This enables us to have a sizeable budget which allows us to collaborate with professional artists.
Every year, we organise 10 exhibitions and the artist decides of his or her own accord which pieces to exhibit and how to position them in the allocated spaces at the company.
The art club management team gathers three times a year and is made up of people who work in a wide range of departments, from admin to logistics, from marketing to cleaning services. Our passion for art has been taken in all our company’s departments and we are very proud of this.
Together, we decide which artists to select for the exhibitions taking place during the year.
Henrik Halberg is the president of the art club and Annette Hedgaard Boye, then secretary of Jørgen Halberg and now secretary of Henrik Halberg, manages the different activities of the club. It’s a task that she carries out with great passion.
Every year, the general assembly of the club gathers and it’s a wonderful moment in which we meet and give everyone the chance to take home one of the art pieces. 20 winners are selected and it’s always nice to see how each winner manages to find the perfect piece for himself or herself.
The impact of art on people
Working in the presence of masterpieces day in, day out is not a luxury everyone gets to experience.
Even employees who are not directly involved in the art club’s initiatives show that they appreciate the presence of these pieces in the work environment and recognise that, in some way, art has an impact on how people work in here.
As Annette says: “I’m absolutely sure art has an impact. Maybe people do not realise it. Some do, some don’t, but I’m sure it has an impact”.