From 8 November until 8 February 2008 a selection of 45 drawings from the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection was being presented in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s new print room. The collection contains more than 4,500 individual drawings and sketchbooks from the period 1780-1860 and was donated by the Stichting Genootschap Cornelis Ploos van Amstel Knoef to the Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 1998. The exhibition provided a fascinating survey of the art of drawing in a period that has long remained overshadowed.
‘From the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection’ mainly contained drawings by lesser-known artists such as Jan van Ravenswaay (1789-1869) and Simon Andreas Krausz (1760-1825), but also includes works by renowned artists such as Josephus Augustus Knip (1777-1847). All genres were represented: from detailed landscapes and cityscapes to studies of human figures, animals and plants.
The basis of the collection was laid by the connoisseur and collector Jan Knoef (1896-1948). Following his death the collection was acquired by C.J. baron Schimmelpenninck van der Oije, who added to it and incorporated it within the Stichting Genootschap Cornelis Ploos van Amstel Knoef. This foundation arose from a circle of collectors of drawings named after the famous eighteenth-century collector Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (1726-1798), of which both collectors were members. Knoef was added to the foundation’s name in honour of the collector.
The Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection was built up in time when works from the period 1800-1860 were collected by only a small number of people, so that many of the drawings were acquired for relatively modest sums of money. This led to an exceptionally complete overview of Dutch drawings from this period. Thanks to this generous donation to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen these drawings can now be studied in greater detail alongside paintings of the same period. The extent of the collection provides opportunities for research into the function of drawing and artistic practices in the first half of the nineteenth century.
The new print room and the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection were on view in the museum's renewed entrance area, and are freely accessible to everyone