Karen Blixen’s wish to safeguard the future of Rungstedlund after her death led to the establishment of the Rungstedlund Foundation. Three of her siblings donated their portions of the property and Karen Blixen also donated the future income from her writing. A radio address, in which she asked her listeners to contribute one krone each so that the grounds could be preserved as a bird sanctuary and be opened to the public, resulted in over 80,000 kroner being sent in to the Foundation.

Rungstedlund Foundation, Rungstedlund Prize, Isak Dinesen, Karen Blixen Museum



The Rungstedlund Foundation and Karen Blixen’s literary executor, Clara Selborn, administrated Karen Blixen’s artistic rights. The object of the Foundation is: “to preserve Rungstedlund as an independent institution, to maintain a bird sanctuary in the grounds and to use the main building for a cultural or scientific purpose.”
The current board of governors:

Chairman of the Board: Michael Bjørn Nellemann (Director at Obelske familiefond)

Members of the Board:

Bent Møllmann Jürgensen, civil engineer and ornithologist
Jesper Rothe, lawyer
Kjeld von Folsach, Museum Director
Architect MAA, Johan Carlsson
Professor Jørn Lund
Ambassador, adj. professor Hans Henrik Bruun
Professor Lasse Horne Kjældgaard
Vice President Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Line Aarsland


The Danish Academy of Letters, which Karen Blixen helped to establish in 1960, has had the use of Rungstedlund for its meetings ever since her death, and for many years the house was not used for anything else. But with the income from the film Out of Africa, and the worldwide increase in sales of Karen Blixen’s books that followed in the wake of the film, the board of the Foundation was in a position to realise the clause relating to a “cultural purpose” and in 1987 work started on turning the main building into a museum. Following the renovation work, directed by architect Vilhelm Wohlert, the Museum opened on May 14 1991.


Each year the Rungstedlund Foundation presents The Rungstedlund Prize of DKK 50,000 to a person who has made a notable contribution in an area which interested Karen Blixen. The award is donated by Hørsholm Local Authority and was initiated in 1991.


1991: Louisianas stifter Knud W. Jensen
1992: Digteren Jørgen Gustava Brandt
1993: Skuespilleren Meryl Streep
1994: K.B.s sekretær og litterære eksekutor Clara Selborn
1995: Grafikeren Palle Nielsen
1996: Zoologen, dr. phil. Arne Schiøtz
1997: Kgl. skuespiller Bodil Kjer
1998: Digteren Thorkild Bjørnvig
1999: Hovedkraften bag oprettelsen af Karen Blixen Museum i Nairobi, Tove Hussein
2000: Forfatteren til Blixikon, afdelingsbibliotekar Liselotte Henriksen
2001: Forfatteren Inger Christensen
2002: Den kinesiske oversætter Lin Hua
2003: Prof. Aage Henriksen
2004: Ornitologen dr.phil Jon Fjeldså
2005: Forfatteren Suzanne Brøgger
2006: Kunsthistoriker og direktør Hans Edvard Nørregård-Nielsen
2007: Forfatteren til Karen Blixen. En fortællers liv, Judith Thurman
2008: Aage V. Jensens Fonde ved fondens formand Advokat eif Skov
2009: Forfatteren Klaus Rifbjerg
2010: Bogforlægger Johannes Riis
2011: Bogforlægger Otto B. Lindhardt
2012: Filminstruktør Gabriel Axel
2013: Skuespiller og instruktør Karen-Lise Mynster
2014: Cand.mag og journalist Marianne Juhl og og kunsthistoriker Marianne Wirenfeldt Asmussen
2015: Forfatter og historiker Tom Buk-Swienty
2016: Lic. scient. Jette Baagøe
2017: Forfatter, dr.phil. Niels Barfoed
2018: Professor Minik Rosing