National Geographic : 1963 Jan
No one stays in Copenhagen long without hearing and seeing on all sides the name Carlsberg. With an outpouring of millions of dollars, it influences the cultural, educational, and scientific life of Denmark, as do Rocke feller and Ford in the United States. Yet Carlsberg is not the name of a man or a family; this label for a brand of beer honors brewery founder Jacob Christian Jacobsen's son Carl. The younger Jacobsen's most cele brated gift to his city was the statue of The Little Mermaid. As local legend has it, Jacob sen commissioned Edvard Eriksen's bronze of a Hans Christian Andersen heroine as a trib ute to a dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet. Carlsberg's chief competitor, the Tuborg Breweries, also uses part of its profits to pro mote the general welfare. Gauguin Links Copenhagen and Tahiti In the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, one of the city's finest museums, I found a poignant link between a far-northerly metropolis and the lush South Pacific. Paul Gauguin married a Dane and lived in Copenhagen after abandoning his career as a Paris stockbroker in favor of Impressionist painting. Later, Gauguin left his large family in Copenhagen and began the unhappy wan dering that took him to Tahiti. Fame did not come until years after his death in 1903.* Among many other French Impressionist works, the Glyptotek's collections include a whole roomful of Gauguins acquired by the Carlsberg Foundation. Gauguin's beautiful "The Seamstress," painted early in his career, is a feature of the exhibit. Five of his haunt ing Tahitian canvases are also displayed. In a summer's visit I found Copenhagen a city that wears a perpetual smile. Despite its hardheaded, no-nonsense respect for business matters, the carnival spirit always lies close to the surface. Where else would a stroller sud denly come face to face with a live giraffe? Lucky, a towering, doe-eyed female, spends most of her time chewing hay and studying the queer two-legged creatures who pass her pen outside the Circus Schumann, a beloved landmark for more than 100 years (page 52). I went to the circus to see the "world's only trained giraffe" perform. Lucky opened *See "Tahiti, Finest Island in the World," by Luis Marden, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, July, 1962. the show by reaching far out into the audi ence to snatch and eat a lady spectator's hat. The lady had been "planted," of course, and her hat was made of such giraffe food as carrots and greens. After galumphing around the ring while the band played "The Beauti ful Blue Danube," Lucky exited to cheers. Returning to serious matters, I journeyed to the University of Copenhagen's Institute for Theoretical Physics. There, in the sparsely furnished office of the director, I found Den mark's grand old man of science, Professor Niels Bohr (page 48), engrossed in a vast per plexity of numbers, letters, and mathematical symbols that his middle-aged son Aage was chalking on a blackboard. The elder Bohr, puffing a pipe, watched silently. Suddenly he stepped forward, tapped a figure 2 with his pipestem, and looked ques tioningly at his son, also a brilliant physicist. Aage Bohr wrinkled his brow and quickly ran back over his calculations. Then he erased the 2 and replaced it with a 1. The blackboard equations, the younger Bohr told me, added up to a formula that had to do with superconductivity in metal. "Few but my father and me could possibly understand this formula," he said apologeti cally, "so I won't try to explain it to you." Bohr Pioneered Nuclear Research Niels Henrik David Bohr, when he was studying under Lord Rutherford at the Uni versity of Manchester, published treatises that won him the title "founder of modern atomic theory." In 1939, working at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N. J., he and a colleague, J. A. Wheeler, electrified the scien tific world. They declared that the uranium isotope U-235, rather than the more abundant U-238, was responsible for atomic fission and the resulting release of energy. The theory proved correct, and the Bohr Wheeler discovery stands as a historic mile stone in nuclear research. Professor Bohr, who died last November 18 at 77, wore his Nobel Prize and other laurels lightly. Even in his 70's he bicycled daily to the Institute from Jacobsen House, the "mansion of honor" provided by the Carlsberg Foun dation for Denmark's most distinguished figure in the arts or sciences. Fellow Copenhageners, though aware of Grundtvig's Church, Named for a Pastor-poet, Wears an Organ-pipe Facade Artisans toiled 19 years, using five million bricks, to build this memorial to Bishop N. F. S . Grundtvig, who founded Denmark's adult educational system a century ago. KODACHROMEBY GILBERT M. GROSVENOR,NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSTAFF © N.G.S.