Rietveld and Van Baaren Collection

Gerrit Th. Rietveld, Voorstudie Lage stoel, ca. 1946-1950/52
Gerrit Th. Rietveld, Voorstudie Lage stoel, ca. 1946-1950/52

The Van Baaren collection consists of French and Dutch art works from the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th century – some 400 works in all. Brother and sister Van Baaren -- Lambertus (1888-1964) and Josephina (1890-1959) – were both avid art collectors. The house that they shared at Oudegracht in Utrecht was decorated with art from top to bottom. After they passed away, the collection was entrusted to the Van Baaren Foundation, which transferred the management of the collection to Centraal Museum in 1980.

In this exhibition, the paintings from the Van Baaren collection are juxtaposed with furniture pieces by their generational peer and fellow Utrecht resident, Gerrit Rietveld (1884-1964). One can hardly imagine a greater contrast between their fairly conservative taste and Rietveld’s desire for innovation. The Van Baaren siblings followed the example set by the prominent art critic and consultant H.P. Bremmer, with his recommendations to wealthy collectors such as Hélène Kröller-Müller; while Rietveld emerged as a radical and innovative designer and architect from the very outset of his career. The Rietveld Schröderhuis in Utrecht dates from 1924 and is considered an icon of the De Stijl movement. This house is under the management of Centraal Museum and has been a listed UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010.

Piet Mondriaan, Landschap met wilgen aan het Gein, ca. 1903
Piet Mondriaan, Landschap met wilgen aan het Gein, ca. 1903

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