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 the Kröller-Müller Museum up to 1990. 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 in 1938. 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. With the realization of the sculpture garden in 1961, Bram Hammacher gave the museum a new dimension. 

New: Rudi Oxenaar

Director Rudi Oxenaar extended the museum in the 70s 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. 

“The Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller is an "environment", which is ideally defined by each subsequent purchase.”
— Rudi Oxenaar (1975)
“I actually think you should always see in which environment an artist lives, in what kind of landscape he is.”
— Ellen Joosten (1981)

Keep discovering new stories

Stories will be added to the Timeline chronologically.
Keep following us for updates!

TO THE TIMELINE