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A varied collection

The Dutch State acquires its art through purchases, commissions, gifts, bequests and transfers. From 1932 to 1992 the government not only purchased existing works, it also commissioned new art. Several large collections have also been bequeathed to the nation.

The collection is very wide-ranging, and can roughly be divided into fine art and applied arts.

  • The fine art collection includes old and modern paintings, works on paper (drawings and graphic art), sculptures, photographs, videos, installations and performances.
  • The applied art collection includes ceramics, furniture, textiles, glass, jewellery, design drawings and posters. The state collection also includes architectural fragments and archaeological objects.

Unique constituent collections

The overall art collection includes a number of constituent collections which in themselves are very substantial. Most are described in separate catalogues. They include:

  • painting: family portraits (17th-20th century), interiors, landscapes, seascapes, 17th-19th-century religious scenes;
  • works on paper from 1850 to the present day;
  • 20th-century sculpture
  • jewellery from the second half of the 20th century;
  • ceramics, including large quantities of Chinese porcelain and Delft Blue, tiles and post-war ceramics;
  • Dutch pottery 1890-1940 (including a large collection from De Porcelyne Fles), crockery 1945-1990;
  • the Van Rede collection (mainly paintings and furniture from the second half of the 19th century);
  • furniture, including many 19th century items and a large collection of Dutch furniture art, 1900-1940;
  • inventory of the St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge (including furniture by H.P. Berlage);
  • the Ritman collection. Core items from the Ritman collection: 25 tide books, 359 post-1500 manuscripts, 44 incunabula and 3961 pre-1800 prints (4389 works in total). This part is on loan to the former owner, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam. www.ritmanlibrary.nl

See also www.collectie.nl (Dutch only)