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The Basel Miracle: "YES!" the petty people said en masse by referendum in 1967 to the purchase of two expensive Picassos.

This is an extraordinary story about crowdfunding avant la lettre and an urban 'bourgeoisie' that for once does not vote by refendum against throwing money at modern art. In Switzerland, no less. Kunstmuseum Basel made a small, fine, penetrating exhibition about it, still on show until 18 August, 2018. Ideal for a stopover on the way to Italy. If you do have a moment... 

Walking around a bazaar full of exclusive merchandise: new exhibition at Drents Museum on Iran as the cradle of civilisation

The feeling of walking around in a bazaar straight out of one of the fairy tales of a thousand - and - one nights. Your eyes feast; colourful Persian carpets, atmospheric lanterns and exclusive 'merchandise'. With the new exhibition Iran- Cradle of Civilisation, the Drents Museum takes visitors to one of the oldest civilisations in the world. For the... 

Kunstraad has profile for new Stedelijk Museum board ready: an Amsterdam rascal (m/*/f).

The cultural sector is sometimes behind, but more often ahead. In the - otherwise very much to be welcomed in terms of content - advice issued by the Amsterdam Arts Council on the future of the local Stedelijk Museum, you can read that job security in the art sector is once again under pressure. Especially for young entrants from 'diverse' backgrounds: 'Preferably, the museum will make greater use of... 

'The current museum loan system leads to decisions based on prejudice rather than fact.'

Museums often manage more art objects than they can display. What they cannot display in the museum galleries they keep safely in the depot. Collections with motley collections of objects from different periods are a growing problem for museums. Marketers stress the need for focus, a clear story and strong branding. Objects that no longer fit the new vision... 

Master painter Henk Helmantel honours the creation story: 'I don't have the impression that I make old-fashioned paintings. My work fits well in modern interiors.'

Museum Gouda will soon show the exhibition Faith, Harmony and Silence by master painter Henk Helmantel. In 2008, he was named artist of the year. At the same time, there are major exhibitions by Helmantel in Gorssel and in Taiwan. His paintings are characterised by a gossamer texture, careful composition and sophisticated lighting. As subjects, he often chooses still lifes and tranquil... 

Culture Council wants review of system, but cautious 'Theatre Sector Opinion' is licence for arbitrariness by House of Representatives

Today, the Culture Council comes out with one of the weaker advices in its existence. The Netherlands' highest cultural advisory body showed vision, leadership and boldness earlier this season with the 'Verkenning' and the 'Sectoradvies Muziek'. The exploration called for a reversal of subsidy flows, with urban regions taking the initiative. In the advice for the music sector, it broke... 

In Bruges, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Painter Pieter Pourbus escaped by marrying conveniently. (And being stone-faced.)

The (in Flanders) famous portrait painter Pieter Pourbus is from Gouda. You have never heard of him. Soon you will. Museum Gouda is bringing the first Pieter Pourbus exhibition to the Netherlands from 17 February 2018 to 17 June 2018. In preparation for this, you should first visit the Groeninge Museum in Bruges. In the unabashedly burgundy World Heritage city, the exhibition Pieter Pourbus and... 

Save and destroy: charge against squandering cultural heritage

A Saudi prince is paying $450 million for a mediocre painting by Leonardo da Vinci; a Dutch politician is pledging a crate of beer for a new composition. In a nutshell, these two extremes capture our current dealings with culture. Total contempt on the one hand and unimaginable overvaluation on the other are two sides of the same coin. We do not judge art for its... 

Where is Norman Rockwell when you need him? Ode to The Grumpy Hallkeeper, the Peanut Butter Floor and Ms Koons

Classic joke about the attendant: "Proudly, the Rijksmuseum's new attendant reports to the museum management at the end of his first working day. 'Mr director, I think you will be pleased with me. I have already sold two Picassos and one Apple today!' " (Source: Thus illustrating the supposed relationship of the traditional attendant to the modern... 

Publicity image BOG. for KID.

'BOG.' plays 'KID.': how a simple question to the audience can lead to exciting theatre.

A collection of makers they are. A collection, but not a collective. What an 'f' can't already make up. So language is quite a thing. And crowdsourcing is quite a thing. These makers collect words from their audience, and give them back in a performance. That's 'BOG.', a still fairly young group trying to use language to make theatre to get us to... 

Majid Karrouch: flowers, Dutch design and the Berber hijab

His work has been featured in renowned fashion magazines worldwide. Majid Karrouch is currently one of our international calling cards in the creative Industry. I sought him out in his studio, which is as extraordinary as the images he creates. SCENE 1: #Ont encounter A while ago, I was first introduced to the exceptional work of a hidden Moroccan-Dutch fashion talent via Instagram.... 

Per-Sonat sings songs from Luther's time: surprisingly fresh and current

Bis an der Welt ihr Ende is the poetic title of a CD by Per-Sonat featuring German songs from the time of the Reformation. This ensemble of mezzo-soprano Sabine Lutzenberger focuses on music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This CD follows the development of German song from church reformer Martin Luther to the composer Johann Hermann Schein.... 

Cornelis de Vos, portrait of Abraham Grapheus (detail, author's photo)

Southern neighbours at the Mauritshuis: you'll never look at portraits the same again

You know that? That sometimes you look at the caption longer than at the painting? And then especially at who the artist is, because we don't usually know the person portrayed anyway? The Flemish portraits in the exhibition Zuiderburen at the Mauritshuis intelligently turn that around. But first, more on the Mauritshuis' extensive collaboration 

5 Bargains the cockerels left behind at major auction houses

It was ball again just before summer at Christie's, Sotheby's, Phillips and Bonhams. Contemporary art auctions are the showpieces of see-and-be-seen. And the place to throw loads of money. For the happy few, in other words. Or better: a pissing contest for men (mostly - really - men) who get the measure of hedge funds and mega-corporations. Score-driving, in other words;... 

Even less income for writers. (What you don't know about the austerity-minded library)

That libraries are doing badly was already known. But in the news about this, made public on 27 July by RTL, there is still something hidden that the editors themselves leave underexposed. Because who is paying the real price in the austerity operation? Indeed, the writers. The libraries settle that with a simple trick. They cancel the rent from their own... 

'World famous outside the Netherlands'. Top piece of 'veduta painting' to Amersfoort

Amersfoort's Museum Flehite has purchased the gouache (a painting made with opaque watercolour) View of Amersfoort by 17th-century painter Caspar van Wittel at Christie's in London. The purchase price for this Amersfoort masterpiece, including taxes, was over 200,000 euros. Van Wittel was born in Amersfoort and, after an apprenticeship with Withoos, left for Italy at the age of 21, where he worked as a... 

In search of Carthage. Drawings by Elisa Pesapane at the National Museum of Antiquities

In the commission given to artist Elisa Pesapane by the National Museum of Antiquities, her passions came together: drawing, antiquity, research and portraiture. From today, twelve drawings about 'le solitaire des ruines': the military engineer Jean Emile Humbert, in search of the city of Carthage, are on display at the RMO. Portrait Italian-Dutch artist Elisa Pesapane (b. 1977) is, among other things,... 

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands -2016-2017- Arsenal-End-wall

Venice Biennale emphasises soft forces in art

The 57th Venice Biennale brings the world together and the art world to Venice. This year, the biennial art event is bigger than ever. Here you will find out what is 'trending' in contemporary art. Everyone thinks something of this event and we live in a time when everything and everyone is held up to the yardstick: 'Have you been there?.... 

Culture outside the Randstad: Amersfoort's struggle

Displaced paintings by Armando. Artists fleeing the city. A tinpot that brought financial disaster and summer festivals that attract tens of thousands of visitors every year. And you thought Amersfoort was boring? A footnote along the A1 motorway? Forget it. Let me tell you about this city struggling with its cultural identity. A story in eighteen impressions. Guilty landscape In his youth... 

Museum Voorlinden: A cactus without spines

Joop van Caldenborgh, founder of Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, has commissioned a classical museum that builds on existing conventions about presenting art. The art should be central and the building does not matter, so to speak. Yet the design plays an important role. Architecture critic Tim de Boer dives deeper into the thoughts behind the building,... 

Entrance to the Gemeentemuseum. Photo Studio Vollaerszwart

How the citydresser gives everything Mondrian colours, and why the museum is fine with that

On Piet Mondrian's birthday, 7 March, the municipality of The Hague offered its residents a colossal decorated cake. It is part of a very active campaign around 100 years of De Stijl. While the Gemeentemuseum is presenting three substantive Stijl exhibitions this year, The Hague is going all out with Stijl imitations and plastered shop windows. A contradiction? Less than it seems, because this citydressing... 

Ascent, Fiona Tan, video artwork of cinematic allure

Fiona Tan delivers a feature-length video artwork with Ascent

The video artwork 'Ascent' is one of Fiona Tan's most recent works. Ascent is a feature-length video artwork: 1 hour and 17 minutes[ref]A work resulting from a special commission from the Izu Photo Museum in Japan[/ref]. You may already be familiar with this artist's work[ref]The now 50-year-old Fiona Tan is "no ordinary Indian girl", born in Pekan... 

At Boijmans, pay special attention to Leonora Carrington (and go crazy for surrealism)

Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam hosts the largest exhibition in Europe of Surrealists. Famous names like Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Paul Delvaux and Roland Penrose. But also lesser-known gods like the outstanding Leonora Carrington and Francis Picabia. In 1970, the world-famous surrealist Salvador Dali visited the Boymans museum in person.... 

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