In the Art Studio there is a small exhibition entitled ‘Kees was here’. This presentation provides a glimpse into the lively period that was of crucial importance to Kees van Dongen’s international fame.
‘Kees van Dongen was here’ is a collection of audiovisual material from the 1920s and 1930s and illustrations by the artist. The pieces show the world in which Kees van Dongen lived and worked. The horrors of the First World War (1914-1918) were followed by the ‘roaring twenties’ otherwise known as ‘les années folles’. A carefree and hedonistic atmosphere reigned in Europe and America. The 1920s witnessed the first intercontinental passenger flight and the introduction of radio. In this period Van Dongen’s studio in Paris was running at full tilt. He was recognised as the portrait painter to the Parisian and international beau monde and was surrounded by beautiful actresses, influential writers and famous fashion designers. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing international economic crisis brought an acute end to this wild period, but not to Van Dongen’s fame, which remains just as great today.