van goghmuseum: pastels from the stedelijk museum
11 Mar - 3 Jul 2005
While the Stedelijk Museum is being refurbished the Van Gogh Museum has undertaken to present an annual selection of works on paper from the Stedelijk's rich collection.
This first presentation displays a choice of the museum's finest pastels and drawings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Among the exhibits in the presentation are works by Redon, Matisse, Mondriaan and Manet. Especially remarkable are the fragile pastels by Redon, some of the finest works on paper in the Stedelijk Museum collection. Redon, and particularly his pastels, were a major influence on the development of modern art in the Netherlands around 1900.
The Stedelijk Museum, which opened its doors in 1895, did not actively collect prints and drawings until the 1950s. The then director Willem Sandberg (1897-1984) remodelled the museum, creating galleries for the storage, conservation and display of works on paper. It was Sandberg's intention to build up a collection of pieces by artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in order to display this now familiar and valued art alongside the unknown, contemporary work which the museum also presented. Paintings by these 'classic modern' masters were comparatively rare and expensive by this period, however, while prints and drawings were more readily available and affordable.
This presentation shows how the Stedelijk Museum has used gifts, bequests and purchases to assemble an impressive collection of works on paper, featuring outstanding pieces by artists such as Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Mondriaan and Redon.