The beginning of a new world

This summer, the Kröller-Müller museum devotes its halls to an exhibition on modern sculpture. The exhibition 'The beginning of a new world. The development of modern sculpture' shows the development of modern sculpture through the eyes of Bram Hammacher, director of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo from 1948 to 1963. Immediately upon his appointment, Hammacher chooses a new direction: seeking to document the development of modern sculpture at an international level.

Sculpture collection

He succeeds in bringing together a collection of sculptures that is a fully-fledged counterpart to Helene Kröller-Müller’s painting collection, thereby providing the museum a unique ‘profile’. Certainly at that time, there were very few major museums with an emphasis on sculpture. 

The sculpture garden

Hammacher’s ultimate dream is the creation of a sculpture garden. That dream is realized in 1961: the garden is opened to widespread international interest. The concept, a labyrinthine garden in which nature and sculpture are regarded as equal, is completely new and revolutionary at the time. As of that moment, the Kröller-Müller became one of the most important international museums for modern sculpture.

The sculpture garden is Hammacher’s most famous achievement, but he also acquires many sculptures for ‘indoors’, often in close correlation with the sculptures in the garden. With a large number of these sculptures, The beginning of a new world provides a richly varied picture of modern sculpture.

The costs of the exhibition are estimated at € 260,000. The Helene Kröller-Müller Fund contributes € 60,000 to this exhibition. 

Image: Kröller-Müller Museum, sculpture gallery with works by Hepworth, Marini, Zadkine a.o., photo: Walter Herfst, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo