Museum acquires key work by Charley Toorop

Charley Toorop, Self-portrait, 1928. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Charley Toorop, Self-portrait, 1928. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

16 May 2008

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has acquired an important painting by Charley Toorop from the estate of Arthur Lehning. The self-portrait is an excellent addition to the museum’s collection and is currently undergoing restoration. This autumn the painting will be shown alongside all the artist’s self-portraits and other key works in a major retrospective exhibition.

The self-portrait dates from 1928. The closely cropped image and the portrait’s frontality bring the artist into close contact with the viewer. The work’s intimate character gives it a special place within Charley Toorop’s oeuvre. She painted the self-portrait in a period in which she was romantically involved with the anarchist and social historian Arthur Müller Lehning. In this period Lehning was the founder and editor-in-chief of the international avant-garde journal i10 (1927-1929).

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen owns various key works by Toorop, including several self-portraits: an early canvas from 1926, the group portrait Friends’ Meal from 1933 and The Three Generations from 1950. The latter depicts herself, her father Jan Toorop and her son Edgar Fernhout.

From 27 September 2008 until 18 January 2009 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is hosting a large retrospective exhibition of the painter Charley Toorop (1891-1955). With more than 120 works, the exhibition will provide a comprehensive view of this artist’s rich oeuvre and fascinating personality. Alongside Toorop’s well-known realistic work, the exhibition will include an extensive selection of her lesser-known, but no less important, works from her Expressionist phase. All her self-portraits will be exhibited together for the first time. The exhibition will then travel to the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Charley Toorop (1891-1955)
Toorop, daughter of the internationally renowned symbolist Jan Toorop, was one of the most remarkable figures in the Dutch art world in the 1920s and 1930s. She was a self-confident and independent woman in a period in which women’s emancipation was taking its first tentative steps.