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Lottery Helps Dutch Museum Acquire Major Artworks

The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, recently made two significant purchases with the financial assistance of several sponsors. The most significant of these was a Dutch lottery, while the others were private foundations.

PARIS—The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, recently made two significant purchases with the financial assistance of several sponsors. The most significant of these was a Dutch lottery, while the others were private foundations.

The museum has added an important Impressionist landscape, Camille Pissarro’s Route de Versailles, Rocquencourt, 1871, to its paintings collection. The picture, previously in the hands of a collector and acquired through private dealer Giraud-Pissarro-Ségalot, of New York and Paris, was acquired with the support of the BankGiro Lottery, which paid 50 percent of the purchase price, a sum as yet undisclosed.

The BankGiro Lottery, which is open to the public, supports social welfare and cultural institutions. Half its yearly earnings go to charities and cultural causes, including the Van Gogh Museum.

In 2004, for instance, a total of €47 million was divided among 23 different causes and charities. (Members pay a €6 annual fee to be eligible to win prizes.) The BankGiro Lottery traditionally aids organizations such as the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund, Amsterdam; and the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

As a result of contributions from the BankGiro Lottery and another Dutch enterprise, Sponsor Lottery, the Van Gogh museum has been able to make several important acquisitions, including two works by Claude Monet in 2001 and 2002 and Gustave Caillebotte’s 1880 View from a Balcony in 2003. More recently the museum acquired Still Life with Portrait of Mimi, 1889-90, by Dutch artist Meijer de Haan (1852-1895).

Further financial support for the Pissarro purchase was received from the Vereniging Rembrandt (a private organization that offers financial support for acquisitions by museums and public art collections, supported by Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund); the Mondriaan Foundation, a cultural foundation in Amsterdam; and the VSB Foundation, (Verenigde Spaarbank), a private, nonprofit organization that supports cultural and social projects.

In addition, the Van Gogh Museum’s graphics department recently enhanced its collection with the rare print series “Elles”—a group of ten lithographs and a title plate created in 1896 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The series was acquired for the museum through the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, with more financial assistance from another foundation, the Herinneringsfonds Vincent van Gogh.

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