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Surrealism Grant

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has a world-renowned collection of surrealist art and an extensive surrealism library. The museum is using this collection as a starting point for a major loan exhibition on 500 Years of Fantastic Art (working title). In preparation, newly graduated art historians will conduct research in the coming years thanks to the Surrealism Grant.

Surrealism collection

This collection includes masterpieces by artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Leonora Carrington and Eileen Agar, as well as Dutch surrealists including Kristians Tonny and JH Moesman. In addition to works of art, the museum has collected thousands of rare surrealist editions, historical journals, poetry collections and literary titles, to which the library of Dutch surrealist Her de Vries was recently added. The extensive surrealist library of Laurens Vancrevel is also planned to be transferred to the museum in the near future.

The museum library is part of the Knowledge centre in Reading room 1 at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. This space not only allows for the viewing of works on paper from the collection, but also from the library collection and the museum archive. Within the Knowledge centre, surrealism forms the most important sub-category in terms of breadth, depth and diversity. The museum is therefore raising the profile of surrealism as an area of research to allow researchers, museum professionals, curators, students, artists and enthusiasts from all corners of the world to gain and exchange knowledge in the Knowledge centre.

Surrealism Grant

The extensive surrealism library and the retrospective exhibition 500 Years of Fantastic Art (planned for after the museum reopening in 2029) have inspired the Surrealism Grant. This stipend will be given once a year, starting in September 2024, and is made possible thanks to the generous annual donation of a private patron.

Recent art history Master's graduates with an interest in surrealist art and/or literature can spend three to a maximum of four months researching specific aspects of the collection. They will be supervised by the curators of 500 Years of Fantastic Art – the museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, Saskia van Kampen-Prein, and curator of prints and drawings, Peter van der Coelen. The research will result in an (English/Dutch) article published on the museum website.

Research area

The first grant focuses on the pioneering retrospective Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism (1936) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Image in header: detail from Leonora Carrington, Again, the Gemini Are in the Orchard, 1947