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In search of Ceramics - A Selection from Three Private Collections

from September 12 2015 until February 21 2016

Michel Kuipers, Vase, 1974. Donation: A.L. den Blaauwen 1992. Charles Lakofsky, Bowl, 1962. Donation: A.L. den Blaauwen 1992. Saturo Hoshino, Spring Snow, 2009. Donation from legacy: R. Kuipers 2014.

This autumn Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing ceramics from the bequests of Frans Koster & Leen Quist, Ronald Kuipers, and Abraham den Blaauwen.

The three collections shown in the exhibition are extremely different. What they share in common is the collectors’ quest for perfection. Each of them was in search of particular forms, colours and ideas that stimulated them.

Just like these collectors, ceramicists are also in search of perfection. Through the systematic exploration of materials, studio ceramicists aim to develop the perfect form, accentuated or interrupted by the interplay of line and colour.

This exhibition features a selection from the three collections, showing the quest for perfection among the ceramicists and the collectors who acquired their works.

The collections

The modern pieces from the bequest of Ronald Kuipers (1958-2014) show that there were other movements in ceramics in addition to studio ceramics. Japanese, French and English ceramicists made works that reflect their inspiration in the beauty and violence of nature and social problems.

Leen Quist (1942-2014) and his partner Frans Koster (1925-2003) collected twentieth-century European ceramics. When they began collecting in the late 1970s their focus was on Scandinavian ceramics. Later they also collected German, Dutch and English ceramics.

For many years Abraham den Blaauwen (1923-2015) was director of the department of Sculpture and Applied Art at the Rijksmuseum In Amsterdam. He also amassed a personal collection of studio ceramics, glass and prints. He collected Scandinavian, Dutch, German, English, Hungarian, American and Spanish ceramics. His collection is characterised by freer and more experimental forms.


In addition to bequeathing a large collection of ceramics to the museum, Frans Koster and Leendert Quist also established a fund for ongoing acquisitions. The first acquisition is ‘Microphone Bouquet’, a work by the Canadian Corwyn Lund inspired by the bunches of microphones used at press conferences, which are often used to announce bad news. In this work Lund wishes to immortalise these fleeting moments of shared tragedy.

On show in

The exhibition can be seen from 12 September in gallery 52 on the ground floor.