The villa was built by one of the most renowned architects of the period, Johan Daniel Herholdt (1815-1902). His style was historicisme or eclecticisme, where different styles are mixed. In the interior design you find a clear New Gothic influence and the exterior was built in the renaissance style.
The building dates back to 1857 where it was one of the first villas in the country. It was built as a “retirement home” for the owner, Niels Bass Fønss (1793-1858) and his wife Louise, of the castle nearby, Hindsgavl Castle. The main reason was to secure the widow a place to live after his death. He died a year after they moved in at Grimmerhus. Louise lived there for 6 years. The house was occupied by different tenants until 1919 when it was bought by the municipality. In 1925 the leaseholder made it into a summer pension. The daughter, Inga Jørgensen, took over from her parents and was active until 1991. The house was listed in 1993 and was refurbished and a group of ceramists called Clay Today could here realize their vision of a museum for modern ceramic art. In October 1994 the “Museum of Ceramic Art – Grimmerhus” was opened.
From 2013-2015 the museum was closed due to a major extension and refurbishing. It re-opened in May 2015 under the new name “CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark”. Since then the museum has more than tripled its number of visitors and is a popular attraction for ceramic lovers from all over.