MUSEUM JAN VAN DER TOGT
Museum Jan van der Togt opened its doors in 1991 as an exhibition space for the art collection of founder Jan van der Togt. Under the direction of museum director and sculptor Jan Verschoor, the museum over the years grew into one of the most prominent private institutions for modern art in the Netherlands, with new temporary exhibitions of either established or promising artists every six weeks.
Museum Jan van der Togt is housed in a modern building at Dorpsstraat 50, in the old town centre of Amstelveen. Although from the outside it looks intimate and modest in size, it has an exhibition area of some 1,200 square meters.
The entrance of the museum is located on the old town square. On the square you will also find the charming Dutch Reformed Church and the building of a former primary school, which is now used as a studio for various artists.
In 2011 a building in the same street, dating from 1800, was added to the Museum Jan van der Togt. The renovation of this building was made possible by a subsidy from the provincial authorities. The Board of Museum Jan van der Togt is now exploring the possibilities for a further expansion of the museum. At the same time it aims to realise a better integration of the museum with the newly added building.
MISSION & VISION
Museum Jan van der Togt is an enterprising museum and aims to maintain and expand the collection of Jan van der Togt, consisting of glass art and contemporary visual art. It intends to make this collection available for all kinds of research. The extensive permanent collection of the museum is exhibited to a wide audience. In addition, the museum continuously offers all kinds of artists an opportunity to exhibit their works of art and organizes educational projects aimed at young people. The museum aims to broaden and deepen its collection of sculptural glass art. The museum focuses primarily on the “tangible heritage of humanity and its environment” and thus meets the definition of the International Council of Museums. As of 1 January 2012 the museum has also been recognised as an institution of cultural public interest (ANBI) by the Dutch tax authorities, which means that donations to the museum are – subject to certain conditions – tax deductible.
JAN VAN DER TOGT
The founder and name giver of Museum Jan van der Togt is the Dutch industrialist and art collector Jan van der Togt (1905 – 1995). In his active life he was the founder and director of the Tomado factory (Van der TO-gt MA-ss products DO-rdrecht). This factory produced a wide range of household, garden and kitchen utensils in the 1950’s and 60’s which are now part of many a design collection.
Van der Togt has always had an eye for design and art. He for instance commissioned the famous Dutch architect Huig Maaskant, known for a number of landmark buildings in Rotterdam (Euromast and Groothandelsgebouw), to design his industrial buildings in the functionalist style of the Dutch New Objectivity movement. The Tomado House became a household name. Maaskant introduced Van der Togt to the famous sculptor Ossip Zadkine in his Paris atelier. Zadkine was commissioned by Van der Togt to produce a large relief for the factory in Etten-Leur. A bronze sculpture group made this sculptor is still part of the museum’s collection.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLLECTION
From the moment Jan van der Togt sold the Tomado factories in 1971, he started occupying himself intensively with modern art. He visited museums, galleries and art fairs. His purchases included sculptures by Jan Verschoor, paintings by Sam Francis and contemporary glass art. As the collection was gradually growing and he was getting on in years, Van der Togt started thinking about finding a good home for his collection.
A foundation for the establishment of a museum was set up in 1990. Van der Togt approached Jan Verschoor, one of the sculptors whose work he had been collecting and who had become a good friend, to become a member of the board. Together they started looking for a suitable location in Van der Togt’s native town of Gouda and in Dordrecht, the location of the Tomado House. When the city of Arnhem had not shown any interest either, Verschoor suggested to start discussions with the councillor for culture of the town of Amstelveen. These discussions were successful: the Museum Jan van der Togt was built there in 1991. For Van der Togt it was a matter of course that Verschoor would eventually become the director of the museum.
Museum Jan van der Togt wants to make a prominent contribution to kindling enthusiasm in young people for visual arts. Education in fine arts and design in this era dominated by visual culture, after all provides an essential contribution to the development of well-balanced, creative and critical young people. The museum believes that art education is an integral part of its cultural and social responsibility. In addition, the museum wants to significantly increase its attraction for young visitors.
With its permanent collection of glass art objects, the museum has a profile that is unique, both regionally and nationally. This profile is an excellent starting point for the creation of a structural and sustainable education programme which focusses on glass, glass art and glass techniques. In addition, the constantly changing temporary exhibitions of the works of other contemporary visual artists as well as the thematic exhibitions provide an excellent opportunity for occasional art education projects.
A team of volunteers has been set up with knowledge of and experience in education, which will further shape, organise and supervise the art education projects.