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, the museum during the War Years and the period under director Bram Hammacher. 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, which informs you how curator Willy Auping jr. kept the art collection out of the hands of the German occupiers. As the founder of the sculpture garden, Bram Hammacher gave the museum a new dimension with space for sculptures.

“'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. In our anniversary-year (July 2018-2019), we are publishing the stories of the period of director Rudi Oxenaar (1963-1990). In the 1970s, he extended the museum with a new wing designed by Dutch architect Wim Quist. The glass walls of the building emphasize one of the museum’s fundamental ideas: the combination of art, nature and architecture. Keep following us for updates!

TO THE TIMELINE

Realization

For the compilation of the Timeline, research was carried out in the archives of the Kröller-Müller Museum and annual reports and catalogues are frequently quoted. Furthermore, with the generous permission of the authors, the following biographies were also very useful: Helene Kröller-Müller, 1869-1939; De Eeuwigheid verzameld (Collecting Eternity) by Eva Rovers (2010), Anton Kröller 1862-1941; Leven op krediet (Living on credit) by Ariëtte Dekker (2015) and A.M. Hammacher; Kunst als levensessentie (Art as life essence) by Peter de Ruiter (2000). Of course, we can highly recommend these publications for further reading!

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

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