Collector Wilhelm Hansen was born in Copenhagen on 27 November 1868. He built his forture through the insurance business, establishing "L'Assurance populaire danoise" in Copenhagen in 1896. He first began to collect the work of Danish and Norwegian artists After a trip to Italy and France in 1902, he became interested in the impressionists and began to acquire works by these artists as well. In 1918 he formed an association with another collector to create a kind of art dealing business. The consortium purchased the Sarlin collection and 200 pictures from the Viau collection, among many other acquisitions. Around this same time Hansen undertook the acquisition and renovation of the property near Copenhagen which would ultimately house his collection. The Musée d'Ordrupgaard opened in 1918 and although financial circumstances forced Hansen and his partners to sell some of the collection in 1922, it was subsequently rebuilt to a certain extent and remains open to the public today. Hansen married Henny Jensen in 1892. After his death in 1936, she inherited the collection and the buildings, which she then bequeathed to the Danish state upon her death in 1951.
Rostrup, Haavard. Histoire du Musée d'Ordrupgaard 1918-1978, d'après des documents inédits. Copenhagen, 1981
Rostrup, Haavard. "Wilhelm Hansen et sa collection de tableaux impressionistes du Musée d'Ordrupgaard." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 99 (March 1982):101-108