A Timeline full of stories

From Helene Kröller-Müller to the present

Dive into the unique history of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Read the stories about our directors, their most important acquisitions and the collaboration with artists and architects.

Straight to the Timeline

80 years of history

In 2018 the Kröller-Müller Museum celebrates its 80th anniversary with the launch of the Timeline. Extraordinary stories from our archives, which have never been made public before. For instance, did you know that The potato eaters by Vincent van Gogh was acquired not by Helene, but by the first curator of the museum, Willy Auping jr.? And do you know where Helene’s painting collection was during the Second World War?

The first stories are online now

At this moment the Timeline contains the history of Helene Kröller-Müller and of the museum during the War Years. You can read about the woman who bequeathed the second largest Van Gogh collection to the Netherlands and founded one of the first museums for modern art. And the story of the museum during the Second World War, in which you can read how Helene’s assistant and later acting director Willy Auping jr. kept the art collection out of the hands of the occupiers during the war and reinstated the museum after the war years, with the help of the Canadian liberators.

“'And now, the great miracle must occur: I build my new house and it will be a museum'.”
— Helene Kröller-Müller (1911)
“'You don’t have to be a high-brow, to enjoy good painting'.”
— Willy Auping Jr. (1945)

Keep discovering new stories

Stories will be added to the Timeline chronologically. This spring we are publishing the stories of the period of director Bram Hammacher (1947-1963). As the founder of the sculpture garden, he gave the museum a new dimension, with space for sculptures. So keep following us for updates!


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The Timeline is made possible with the support of the Helene Kröller-Müller Fund.

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