Mystery in the Submarine Wharf
May 2011

Han Nefkens - 10 Years of Patronage

25 June – 2 October 2011

The exhibition ‘Han Nefkens, 10 Years of Patronage’ and the accompanying book focus on this exemplary patron of the arts and his generous initiatives over the past ten years.

Portrait of Han Nefkens, photo: Santos Román
Portrait of Han Nefkens, photo: Santos Román

Over the next three months you can discover the world of Han Nefkens: writer, patron and art collector. Over the past ten years Nefkens has supported the newest generation of artists and fashion designers, bringing their work to the attention of a wide audience. He has realised this goal by forming partnerships with museums and art institutions, including Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Boijmans asked Han Nefkens a series of questions. Read the rest of the interview here.

1. How do you become a patron?
Practically anyone can become a patron. It a question of engagement, not money. If twenty people each contribute a thousand euros you have enough to purchase a work of art or to fund a catalogue.

2. Which of your purchases means the most to you and why?
That would be ‘Children’ by Jeff Wall, because it was the first work I bought after recovering from a serious illness. The nine photographs of children are full of life and hope. That really appealed to me at the time, and still does.

3. Is private patronage the alternative to government arts funding, which is currently being slashed?
Private patronage can never replace government funding of the arts, but can only supplement it. Art and culture are of crucial importance for everyone. The government must recognise that and act accordingly.