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New EUROPE Stamps will be issued on 9 May 1996
The theme of this year's EUROPE Stamp is "Famous Danish Women". Portraits of Karen Blixen and Asta Nielsen provide the motifs for the Danish stamps. In their respective fields these two artists have merited the designation "Famous Danish Women".
Karen Blixen - especially since her death - has become a world-renowned author, and at the beginning of the century, Asta Nielsen was one of most famous stars of the silent screen.
|Day of Issue: 9 May 1996
DKK 3.75 - Karen Blixen
DKK 5.00 - Asta Nielsen
Composition: Graphic Designer Austin Grandjean
Photos: Cecil Beaton (Karen Blixen)
Unknown photographer (Asta Nielsen)
Colour: Brown and grey, respectively
Mode of printing: Offset
Format: 31.08 x 23.60 mm
Perforation: 12 3/4
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Printed by: Post Denmark, Stamps & Philately
Marginal Nos.: 918 and 919
Post Denmark Catalogue Nos.: 1052 and 1053
The stamp at the value of DKK 5.00 is also issued in booklets of 10 each.
Karen Blixen (1885-1962)
For the greater part of her life, Karen Blixen, one of Denmark's greatest female writers, whose flame began in America and in time spread throughout most of the world, had her home at Rungstedlund, north of Copenhagen. Kenya Karen Blixen spent 17 years on a coffee farm in Kenya (1914-1931).
After eight years of marriage to the Swedish baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, they separated, and she took over responsibility for the farm herself. In 1930 the family company which owned the farm decided to give up the unprofitable business, and the following year Karen Blixen returned to Denmark. She moved in with her mother at Rungstedlund in Denmark.
Authorship and Rungstedlund
On the death of her mother in 1939, Karen Blixen became the lady of the house and could begin to decorate the home according to her own taste. It was in these surroundings that Karen Blixen wrote, not only the great book that marked a turning-point in her career, "Syv fantastiske Fortællinger" (Seven Gothic Tales), but also other books, both in English and Danish. Among these are "Den Afrikanske Farm" (Out of Africa), which in 1985 inspired an Oscar-winning film of the same name with Meryl Streep playing the lead as Karen Blixen. Robert Redford plays Denys George Finch-Hatton, the author's closest friend in the African years. The collections "Vinter-Eventyr" (Winter's Tales) and "Sidste Fortællinger" (Last Tales) were also written at Rungstedlund.
Museum at Rungstedlund
In 1958 Karen Blixen founded the Rungstedlund Trust, which owns Rungstedlund and its associated garden and bird sanctuary, 40 acres in all. In 1987 the Trust decided that the house was to be turned into a museum in honour of Karen Blixen, and this was opened on 15 May 1991. The main entrance of the Karen Blixen Museum is in the west wing, which formerly comprised a coach house, stabling for horses, and a hayloft. This building has now been restored by the architect, Professor Vilhelm Wohlert, and furnished with a gift shop, cafe, exhibition rooms ind library, where it is possible to hear Karen Blixen's fascinating voice and see slides from her years in Africa. The rooms in the north wing have been left as she herself appointed them, always with fresh flowers in the vases. This part of Rungstedlund, too, is open to the public. There is also a small gallery showing oil paintings, water colours and charcoal drawings, all executed by Karen Blixen.
What is it that makes Karen Blixen such a great and internationally renowned personality and author. This can be summed up in one word: she was a story-teller. Karen Blixen can be rightly compared to another Danish author of international renown, Hans Christian Andersen. Just as Hans Christian Andersen's tales are read all over the world, Karen Blixen's books have come to be translated into a vast number of languages.
Karen Blixen' works can be read in Denmark and in Africa, in the United States or in Japan. The content is rooted in the author's experience, but the message is universal, so that it transcends the geographical, time-related and cultural boundaries often characteristic of an oeuvre.
Visitors to the Karen Blixen Museum at Rungstedlund north of Copenhagen may see this for themselves, as the Museum constantly updates its library, acquiring new editions of her books in many languages.
Asta Nielsen (1881-1972)
Asta Sofie Amalie Nielsen was one of the greatest of all silent movie stars; with the international success of her first film "Afgrunden" (The Abyss) in 1910 she established erotic melodrama as a genre. At the same time she modernized the acting style of the silent movies by means of carefully controlled body language. The contemporary author, Herman Bang, described the actress as having "a vibrant body". However, she only made three more movies in Denmark.
Asta Goes to Berlin
As early as 1911 a call for the star came from abroad, and Asta Nielsen had parts in a large number of films in Germany, among them films for her own production company. The last film she made in Germany was the sound film "Impossible Love" in 1932.
Body Language and Charisma
In her many films, Asta Nielsen played young girls as well as ageing women, bourgeois ladies as well as prostitutes and proletarians, men as well as women. She acted both comic and tragic parts and could appear both ugly and beautiful. In particular her portraits of a number of tragic modern women fascinated the audience of the silent movies.
Asta Nielsen was en expert at communicating by means of her carefully controlled body language. The deeper emotions which more often than not cannot be conveyed in words she was able to indicate by minute gestures, which hinted at the smouldering volcano inside. It was this very controlled way of expression which contrasted sharply with the often exuberant and exaggerated gestures that characterized the first period of the silent movies.
Most actors at this time had developed their acting style on the stage and often transferred it directly to the screen. It is this difference in expression and acting technique, which makes it a unique experience today to see Asta Nielsen's films compared to most other movies from that time.
The Years in the Doldrums
With the advent of Nazism in Germany in the course of the 1930's, Asta Nielsen returned to Denmark to her "years in the doldrums", as she called them in her autobiographical movie "Asta Nielsen" made in 1968. Very occasionally she appeared on stage, but spent her later years mainly on the making of textile collages. In 1946 she published her autobiography "Den tiende Muse" (The Silent Muse).
An Autumn Romance
In her younger days Asta Nielsen was married three times, but later on did not attach much importance to any of these relationships.
The Organization of the Labour Market
This year marks the centenary of "Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening" (DA), the Danish Employers' Confederation, which was set up under the name of "Arbejdsgiverforeningen af 1896" with the purpose of providing a counter-balance to the ever more powerful trade unions. The organization was given its present name in 1919. As a parallel to DA, the Danish TUC, De Samvirkende Fagforbund (DsF) was founded in 1898 and renamed "Landsorganisationen i Danmark" (LO), in 1967. The DA stamp is the first in a series of three or four stamps entitled "The Organization of the Labour Market". In 1998 two or three stamps will be issued illustrating the Danish labour movement.
|Day of issue: 9 May 1996
Topic: The centenary of the Danish Employers' Confederation (DA)
Value: DKK 3.75
Motif: Graphical composition
Artists: Graphic designers Hedda Bank and Bo Linnemann
Photo: Image Bank/Benn Mitchell
Mode of printing: Offset
Format: 40.40 x 23.60 mm
Perforation: 12 3/4
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Printed by: Post Denmark, Stamps & Philately
Marginal No.: 920
Post Denmark Catalogue No.: 1054
The Centenary of the Danish Employers
At its establishment 100 years ago, the present DA comprised five employers' associations and two individual firms. Since then, the number of member organizations has been steadily increasing, culminating in 1965 with 260. Since then the number has been reduced through mergers. In 1995 DA had 28 member organizations, which together represented more than 28,000 firms with about 560,000 employees.
The influence of the member organizations is calculated in accordance with the size of their wage bill, or total labour costs. The member organizations, the size of which continually increases, e.g. through the formation in 1992 of Dansk Industri (Danish Industry, DI), a merger of Industrirådet (The Federation of Danish Industries) and Industriens Arbejdsgivere (Danish Industrial Employers) led to a redefinition of the tasks of the DA in 1994. DA negotiates the general agreement and agreements concerning cooperation and cooperation committees directly with the LO, whereas ordinary agreements are negotiated directly between the member organizations and their opposite numbers (the trade unions).
The Main Tasks
The main tasks of the DA are the political aspects of labour, education, the working environment and the right to hire and fire, together with legal advice in labour disputes and the coordination of labour agreements. DA has 67 local organizations covering the whole country and looking after the local interests of employers. The September Agreement In the late 19th century, the confrontation between employers and workers culminated in a number of conflicts, so that strikes and lockouts followed disagreements as to who was to decide wages and terms of employment for individual firms. In 1899 the employers started a general lock-out, the longest conflict to date between the two main organizations today known as DA and LO. It lasted for five months.
Only on 5 September 1899 did the adversaries succeed in reaching an agreement, the September Agreement, which came to function as a kind of constitution, regulating relations between the social partners until 1960, and its main stipulations are still in force in almost unchanged form. The agreement contains stipulations as to the right of employers to direct and distribute work, and establishes the mutual right of the two main organizations to call a halt to production after 14 days' notice. Finally it was settled that the subordinate organizations were to abide by agreements made.
These are the main points in the September Agreement, which has provided a cornerstone for cooperation between the organizations of the labour market in Denmark for almost 100 years, Collective Agreements and the Duty to Keep the Peace The general agreement and the agreement on cooperation and cooperation committees between the LO and the DA as it looks today, with collective agreements, the duty to keep the peace, arbitration etc., are a direct result of the violent conflicts in the 1890's, which ended with the historic September Agreement.
Should you wish to learn more about Danish stamps this is a good opportunity to do so. Danish stamps will provide you with a better knowledge of the geography, scenery, art, culture and history of Denmark.
Whether you are already a collector of stamps - or are contemplating starting a collection, it is a good idea to get to know Post Denmark, Stamps & Philately. We are not only in charge of the planning, printing, and issuing of stamps, but also your direct contact to service and up-to-date information about Danish stamps. Post Denmark, Stamps & Philately, issues between 20 and 25 new Danish stamps every year. Therefore, it is neither impossible nor especially expensive to get a complete collection.
Send in a request for further information
Send a letter directly to us or click here to send an e-mail with your full 'snail mail' address - Please remember to enter 'Post Denmark' as the subject of your e-mail. As mentioned above you will then receive a catalogue showing Danish stamps for sale from Post Denmark, Stamps & Philately, a brochure presenting the various subscription options and a trial subscription to a stamp magazine - free of any charges and obligations.