Chamber of Commerce donates 'Factory girls on the Prinsengracht' from 1894
The Amsterdam Museum's collection is expanding with a special donation. The Chamber of Commerce donated the museum the painting 'Factory Girls on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam' (c. 1894) by the famous Amsterdam impressionist Isaac Israels. Israels' painting hung for many years in the meeting room of the General Board of the KVK Utrecht on Waterstraat in Utrecht. The painting will be on public display from 14 July 2022 in the permanent collection presentation Panorama Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Museum aan de Amstel.
Israels painted this work at the end of the 19th century in Amsterdam. He became inspired by the city and often captured fleeting moments from the daily lives of its inhabitants. With quick brushstrokes, he immortalised everyday scenes, such as these young women. Perhaps they were chatting after their shift, or perhaps they were just about to go to work.
'Factory girls on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam' (height 95 cm and width 130 cm) is the ninth work by Israels in the Amsterdam Museum's collection, and will be displayed in the Panorama Amsterdam exhibition. Here, it forms a valuable addition to the presentation on the nineteenth century, where the museum zooms in on women's lives and the first feminist wave in particular.
Judith van Gent, manager of collection and research at Amsterdam Museum, accepted the work from the Chamber of Commerce: ''We are very happy with the beautiful work. Using this painting, we can tell many stories, for example about industrialisation and the changing city in the nineteenth century, the lives of women at that time, and the rise of feminist movements. We are delighted that the painting is in such good condition and we can show it directly to the public.''
Rijneke Bastmeijer, manager Facility Housing and Purchasing at the Chamber of Commerce: "When the Chamber of Commerce became one organisation in 2014, a number of KVK branches were closed or merged. Some 400 artifacts have been stored in a depot since then. Over two years ago, we started an inventory of all the art we had collected over all those years. We have sold a lot, but the social value of a number of works is so significant that we donate them to museums. Besides this Israels that will go to the Amsterdam Museum, we will also donate another one a painting and an old atlas to other museums. So the whole of the Netherlands can enjoy these works again.''
The Amsterdam Museum's permanent collection presentation entitled Panorama Amsterdam: a living history of the city centres on over 250 objects that give visitors a multifaceted view of the many histories of the city of Amsterdam: classic icons from the city's collection but also new or rarely shown work. On the outer wall of the hall, a selection of the city's stories can be seen chronologically. Major and important events have their place there. In the space in the middle of the hall, which functions as a laboratory, the exhibition zooms in on themes that are closely linked to the city but which in the past were left out of the big story of Amsterdam - deliberately concealed or overlooked.
'Inside' and 'outside' form relationships with each other, creating special and surprising cross-connections. Themes such as science, trade, women's emancipation, World War II, protests, Ajax, migration and sexual freedom are covered, for example.