Collecting for the Haags Gemeentemuseum: Cees Kuijlman, collector of Dutch twentieth-century art on paper (II)
Jan Piet Filedt Kok
As we have seen, Kuijlman was most interested in a small number of Dutch artists, whose drawings and prints could still be bought at affordable prices. Besides sheets by artists who had been dead for a while such as Jan Toorop, Samuel Jesserun de Mesquita, Herman Kruyder and Piet Ouborg (whose work was just beginning to attract interest), he concentrated on the work by living artists.
It is striking that Kuijlman’s collection was not confined to a single artistic direction: he collected both figurative and abstract works, and drawings as well as prints. For instance, in the case of Dick Cassée, Kuijlman concentrated on his prints, while in the case of Peter Vos he acquired drawings. The decision to build his collection of contemporary art around a group of artists from a younger generation who were not yet fully established was partly driven by his desire to choose and buy works directly from the artist so as to avoid additional gallery costs.
By studying the Gemeentemuseum’s collection of drawings and prints it should be possible to determine whether the collector did indeed generally choose ‘works from a draughtsman or printmaker’s every period’ and if his pattern of purchases accorded with the museum’s acquisition policy.
Head of a girl 1896
lithograph, printed in green 266 x 214 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
Earliest landmarks in the collection
Among the earliest landmarks in the collection are the prints and drawings by Jan Toorop (1858-1928) and Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1868-1944), two artists whose graphic work was rediscovered in the post-war years.1 Jan Toorop’s graphic work consists of more than 80 sheets, which were properly documented for the first time in an exhibition at the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam (accompanied by a catalogue raisonné) in the spring of 1969, to which Kuijlman lent ten sheets [1, 2].2 The relatively rare works in the Toorop group are the 50 drypoints made in the years 1884-1908. Several of these were only printed posthumously, and original impressions from Toorop’s lifetime have been highly sought after from the beginning, especially those with handwritten dedications.3 The Gemeentemuseum already had numerous examples, but with the additions from Kuijlman’s collection (including posthumous impressions), a significant part of Toorop’s graphic work can be found in The Hague. However, the collection does not have the same range of subtly different impressions and unique sheets that are in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam, which has been enriched with a considerable number of special impressions since 1969 thanks to the efforts of successive curators.
Portrait of General Drabbe 1903
drypoint 153 x 152 mm, first state
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
After the tragic death of Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, who taught the world-famous graphic artist M.C. Escher – the star of the holdings of graphic art in the museum in The Hague – the work left behind in Jessurun de Mesquita’s studio resurfaced in several tranches in post-war Amsterdam. A significant number of these sheets ended up in the Stedelijk Museum and in the Rijksprentenkabinet, which had regularly bought work from Jessurun de Mesquita while he was still alive.4 After the Amsterdam collections, the Gemeentemuseum’s holding of works by Jessurun de Mesquita, which doubled in size with the purchase of the Kuijlman collection, offers the most comprehensive overview of his oeuvre. As a consequence, in 2005 the museum was able to organise a splendid retrospective exhibition of the artist, which was accompanied by a hefty monograph.5
Almost 40 years earlier, in the spring of 1968, the Gemeentemuseum print room had shown 60 drawings and prints by Jessurun de Mesquita – some from the museum’s own holdings, supplemented by loans – as a prelude to the major Escher exhibition to mark the artist’s 70th birthday.6 Kuijlman’s interest in Jessurun de Mesquita was already evident from his loan of four drawings, and during or shortly after the exhibition he went on to purchase almost every print by the artist from Hans Marcus in Amsterdam.7 Through Kuijlman’s purchases, especially Mesquita’s powerful woodcuts, his work is well represented at the Gemeentemuseum .8 Just over a decade later, in 1980, a considerably larger group from the same collection formed the basis for an exhibition of the artist at Galerie Sothmann in Amsterdam.9 Knowledge of Mesquita’s prints, also internationally, grew because of this exhibition and other later ones organised by the gallery, as well as the related publications by Erik Ariëns Kappers.
Fifteen drawings by the expressionist painter Herman Kruyder (1881-1935) from Kuijlman’s collection were added to the already quite large group of sheets by the artist that had come to the Gemeentemuseum from various sources, including Paul Citroen.10 Kuijlman had bought 41 drawings by the Hague artist Piet Ouborg (1893-1956) from his estate, and once they entered the Gemeentemuseum, this became the most extensive group of Ouborg’s surrealist and abstract works on paper.11
Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita
Self-portrait with coat and hat c. 1897
woodcut 520 x 290 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
A good selection of the work of each of the above-mentioned artists can be found, more or less complementing one another, in the graphic art collections of various other Dutch museums. Kuijlman acquired substantial groups of prints and drawings by four contemporary artists, Co Westerik, Dick Cassée, Carel Visser and Peter Vos, which were largely absorbed into the collection of the Gemeentemuseum by means of the purchases made between 1971 and 1975.
The largest group of work by a single artist in Kuijlman’s collection was that of Co Westerik (1924-2018). Of these, 200 drawings from the period 1944 until 1975 and some 140 prints are now at the Haags Gemeentemuseum. It would appear, moreover, that Kuijlman’s Westerik collection was once even larger. The 1971 book about Westerik (made as a promotional gift by Kuijlman’s printing firm), informs us that Kuijlman first met Westerik at the ceremony in Leiden at which the artist received the Rembrandt Prize for Painting in July 1966.12 This means that the works in the Westerik exhibition, which opened in Rotterdam at the end of December 1968, comprising 30 prints and 77 drawings and watercolours, must have been assembled within a period of two years.13 From 1956, the Gemeentemuseum had been regularly buying works by this artist, who then lived in The Hague, but Kuijlmans’s purchases were on a much larger scale, including groups of ten or so drawings and prints at a time rather than individually.
Through the acquisition of the Kuijlman collection, Westerik’s early printed oeuvre (woodcuts, lithographs and etchings from the period 1945-1971) can be found more or less complete in The Hague, in many cases with additional early trial proofs: there are 140 impressions of approximately 70 different subjects .14 By the 1980s the Gemeentemuseum boasted the world’s largest collection of Co Westerik’s graphic work, and thus it made sense for the museum to compile a catalogue raisonné, which was published in collaboration with Openbaar Kunstbezit in 1984.15 The museum acquired several more Westerik prints up until 1989, but nothing has been added since then.16
The same applies to Westerik’s drawn oeuvre in the Gemeentemuseum: his drawings from the years 1944 to 1975 are found in large numbers; there are a few fine specimens of his later drawings (up until 1985); and then there is a single later addition, a large drawing from 1994.17 It is worth noting that the quality of the sheets from Kuijlman’s collection is uneven: apart from several beautiful, characteristic works, there is much juvenile and art school work. Moreover, unconvincing examples can certainly also be found among the later works from the period 1960 to 1970.
This led, probably in the 1990s, to a curious but ultimately understandable division of the Gemeentemuseum’s Westerik drawings into two parts.18 Looking at the A category, about 90 drawings, gives the viewer – rather as in an exhibition – a good general impression of the artist’s work.19 The B category, about 150 drawings, including many sketches, is of mainly documentary interest.20 Because of the purchases from the Kuijlman collection, Westerik’s early drawings and watercolours (up until the early 1970s), including the Man with dog in a room of 1966 are very nicely represented . The illustrations in Kuijlman’s 1971 book, which were reproduced directly from the originals, confirm the exceptional quality of Westerik’s drawings from this period. However, a number of Kuijlman’s drawings reproduced in the book did not end up in the Gemeentemuseum, indicating that when the collector sold off works in the years 1971-1975 he did indeed hold on to the best ones. It was only when he offered the museum some drawings in 1979 and 1986 that there was an opportunity to acquire several of the works illustrated in his catalogue, including the self-portrait Draughtsman wearing a blue smock and cap of 1975, which appeared on the cover of the 1979 trade edition .21
As mentioned above, the majority of the best Westerik drawings from the Kuijlman collection ended up with Mrs van Oosterom-Kleijn in Amsterdam, whose collection was presented to the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen in 2004. No fewer than 47 of the 97 Westerik drawings in this gift came from Kuijlman, including In Conversation of 1965, which appears on the cover of the 1968 catalogue. As a consequence, the Rotterdam collection, like the works on paper that belonged to Frits Becht (1930-2006), gives a much better and more balanced view of Westerik’s development as draughtsman than Kuijlman’s considerably larger group of drawings in the Gemeentemuseum.22
Two men in a boat 1965
etching 173 x 214 mm
touched proof of the first state without aquatint, with inscription
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
Man with dog in a room 1966
pen and watercolour 222 x 258 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
Draughtsman wearing a smock and cap 1966
pen, watercolour and gouache 200 x 246 mm >br> The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
In the spring of 1970, the exhibition Dick Cassée, grafiek en tekeningen uit de verzameling Kuijlman [Dick Cassée, prints and drawings from the Kuijlman Collection] was held in Rotterdam. Comprising 76 prints and 18 drawings and watercolours, it presented an overview of the work of Dick Cassée (1931) between 1958 and 1969.23 This followed an exhibition in 1967 of 44 prints by the artist at the Gemeentemuseum, from which a number of sheets were purchased. Shortly afterwards Kuijlman bought his first prints by Cassée from the Fenna de Vries Gallery in Delft, and probably then began forming a collection of the artist’s work. The Gemeentemuseum eventually owned 155 prints and almost 30 drawings and watercolours from Kuijlman. There is a fine selection of Cassée’s early watercolours, which is subtle and not unlike Paul Klee, as well as the prints he made up until 1972. There are a few designs and construction drawings for prints as well as three small etching plates affording insight into his working method. After a group of early straightforward prints executed in broad drypoint lines, it is clear that Cassée’s career as a printmaker took off shortly after the period he spent in Stanley William Hayter’s workshop in 1961. While there, he began making simple prints using small aluminium and zinc plates. In the years that followed, his designs as well as technique changed. The compositions become geometric with structures based on circles and rectangles, which he often embossed printed. Later in the 1960s (1968-1972) he discovered the countryside of Vaucluse, which he first rendered in colourful layered watercolours and later in horizontal landscape-like prints made with firm strokes of the drypoint needle [7, 8].
While Cassée’s prints from this important period until circa 1970 are particularly well represented in The Hague, there are virtually none from his later years. A few examples of his later output are found in the Stedelijk Museum in his native Amsterdam; but, here too, it is mainly the early work in print and watercolour that is amply and splendidly present.24
The 45 prints and 41 drawings by Carel Visser (1928-2015) in the Gemeentemuseum from the Kuijlman collection are also mostly abstract. They constitute an important counterbalance to his work as a constructivist sculptor in steel, a relationship that was highlighted in the retrospective exhibition of his work organised by Locher in November 1972 in the Gemeentemuseum to celebrate Visser’s award of the State Prize for the Visual Arts.25 In the monograph that Kuijlman printed to accompany the exhibition, drawings and woodcuts from the early 1950s onwards feature prominently.26 The museum had bought a group of these in 1966, and this collection was substantially extended by the Visser drawings of the 1950s that Kuijlman purchased, along with woodcuts.27 Visser started making these large format (93 x 63 cm) block prints on translucent, white Japanese paper in 1957.28 Pieter Brattinga wrote the following about them in 1973: ‘Making woodcuts also means thinking on paper, but they come about in a different way. Visser loves to apply himself to drawing or making woodcuts after a day spent with heavy steel. When he makes woodcuts he uses translucent Japanese paper. He needs the transparency: he begins by placing the woodblock; as he looks through the paper, he places it over the block in a position which he determines in his head; and then he prints it.’ Through Kuijlman the Gemeentemuseum acquired 40 or so of these block prints printed in beige, orange, red, yellow, but principally in black: cubes, stacks, pyramids, salami and the like . With Carel Visser it is once again the later work that is missing, for example the woodcuts on Kozo paper and collages.
It is clear that there were close links between Locher’s policy in the Gemeentemuseum in the late 1960s and Kuijlman’s taste as collector, and it was not just Cassée and Visser who were given small exhibitions in the Hague print room in 1967, but also Sipke Huismans (1938), Henri Plaat (1936), and one year earlier, JCJ VANDERHEYDEN (1928-2012).29 Kuijlman bought larger groups of sheets by these three artists, which went to the Gemeentemuseum in 1971-1972, making these purchases a reflection of these exhibitions. For the work of these artists it was probably also the case that while limited museum budgets allowed only minimal acquisitions, Kuijlman could buy on a larger scale.
Dieulefit landscape 1966
watercolour, 100 x 135 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
Like a landscape II 1969
drypoint 70 x 190 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
woodcut 630 x 930 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
The most recent generation
With seventeen prints and fourteen drawings Jeroen Henneman (1942) is particularly well represented among the youngest group of artists collected by Kuijlman. These are not the later illusionistic works for which he is now best known, but mainly prints from his Flemish period (1964-1967).30 Kuijlman also bought works on paper by Wim T. Schippers and Peter Struycken, but very few of these ended up in the Gemeentemuseum.31
Kuijlman’s purchases of more figurative work by Jan Mensinga (1924-1998), and especially by Peter Vos (1935-2010), had no connection with the exhibitions programme in The Hague at the time.32 The Gemeentemuseum’s Vos holdings – 19 prints and 63 drawings – came almost exclusively from Kuijlman.33 We can only guess at his reason for collecting Peter Vos’ work: as early as 1963 he had reproduced two wash drawings from 1962 in the Leiden print room for Openbaar Kunstbezit.34 Also, in 1965 Peter Vos represented the Netherlands at the Biennale in Sao Paulo with drawings and was the youngest artist to take part. Incidentally, the centrepiece of the pavilion was a group of paintings by Co Westerik. However, the somewhat surrealist drawings that Peter Vos showed at Sao Paolo were very different from those which Kuijlman bought from 1968 onwards. At that moment the artist’s early drawings that had not been made as illustrations were already very scarce. For that reason his early work is represented by sheets cut from his sketchbooks. The earliest are chalk drawings from a sketchbook dating from Vos’ school days (with algebraic equations on the back, 1952), there are some from notepads dating from the summer he spent in Brittany in 1958, sketchbook pages from 1960 with centaurs and the like, and drawings from a 1962 sketchbook featuring some of the artists staying at the Jagtlust country estate. The works Kuijlman chose to represent the early 1960s were illustrations for the publications Vrij Nederland and Hollands Weekblad (known from 1962 onwards as Hollands Maandblad). Non-illustrative works by Vos were reproduced in both. In choosing book illustrations, the collector had a predilection for the mildly erotic drawings accompanying tales by Rodenko from 1964. It was really only from the period 1966-1970 that he was able to collect good examples of independent drawings .35 The group of prints from 1969-1970 is characteristic of the work Vos produced in those years, but the quality of the drypoints is not the same as those from his art school years. The exhibition of the artist’s early work in the spring of 2017 provided an opportunity to compare Kuijlman’s choices with the work now regarded as the best from that period. It is important to add that the more personal work is absent because when Kuijlman made his selection in 1968 the artist had already sold or given it away. Although works were acquired for the Dutch National Art Collection from the early 1960s from time to time, the purchase by the Gemeentemuseum in 1971-1972 was the first major acquisition of Vos’ work by a museum, and would remain so for 40 years until the Rijksmuseum acquired a large selection from the artist in 2009.
pen and black ink, with watercolour wash on paper 238 x 194 mm
The Hague, Kunstmuseum (C. Kuijlman Collection)
Of the groups of works by contemporary artists described above, the attempt to acquire qualitatively important work by Peter Vos seems to have been less successful than in the case of Westerik, Cassée and Visser. It is only with Westerik that a large quantity of work of mainly documentary interest went to the Gemeentemuseum, but otherwise the various phases in the oeuvre of these artists is well and richly represented up until 1970. The collection of prints and drawings from the years 1965-1970 that Kuijlman succeeded in bringing together affords a remarkably close look at the artists’ own development, whereby the general trends in post-war Dutch graphic art are well illustrated at the Gemeentemuseum.
No thought of profit
It is not known whether, when Kuijlman began to collect seriously from 1966 onwards, he had the Gemeentemuseum in mind as the eventual home for his collection; however, given the close links with the museum’s exhibition programme at the time, he undoubtedly followed the museum’s lead. What is certain is that when Kuijlman started to sell in 1971, there was agreement between him and the museum that the collection fit in well in the Gemeentemuseum in its entirety, and it seems unlikely that the seller intended to make a profit from a transfer.
Unfortunately, none of the purchase records that Kuijlman must have kept have been preserved. We do have some information, however, from his fellow collector Karel Levisson, who acquired a group of 150 sheets from Kuijlman probably in the summer of 1975, and who kept a hand-written inventory of his own collection. For his purchases from Kuijlman, Levisson noted the amount paid in guilders for each sheet, minus 20 per cent. These probably indicate the purchase prices that Kuijlman had paid, and that he gave a 20 per cent discount when making the sale. Although the lists of purchases made by the Gemeentemuseum for 1971 and 1972 omit the prices of individual sheets, the average price is between 200 and 300 guilders, and this corresponds to the amounts in Levisson’s inventory. When the 50 Westerik drawings were sold in 1974 the average price was 500 guilders and Kuijlman charged 15 guilders per mount, as with his earlier sales. Once again this suggests that Kuijlman was only out to recover the cost price.
As noted above, the failed sale of the remainder of the Kuijlman collection in 1975 spelled the end of the friendship between the collector and the museum. For the sale of a number of remaining sheets by Westerik and others in 1979 and 1987, the prices were raised in line with the market. We might conclude that the sale of the drawings was prompted by Kuijlman’s new passion, namely collecting art from Africa.
The sale of an important part of the collection in 1971-1972 meant that an extensive group of contemporary works on paper entered the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague which could otherwise only have been bought on a much smaller scale. In practice, because there are no restraints on how they use their resources, private collectors seem to be better positioned than museums to assemble monographic collections. In the 1970s and 1980s successive governments introduced a number of schemes that provided more generous funding for the purchase of Dutch contemporary art than what is now in place. An important part of these acquisitions were made by civic collections and a substantial selection from the Dutch National Art Collection is now housed in the Rijksmuseum. While all of the artists mentioned are thus reasonably well represented in Dutch museums, these collections are distinguished by neither the strengths nor the weaknesses that are certainly found in the collection in The Hague.
Kuijlman is not the only individual who amassed a substantial collection of contemporary works on paper in this period, and it is possible to make comparisons with several similar collections.36
The large collection of works on paper put together by Chris Leeflang (1904-1993), which is in private hands, was assembled over a rather longer period ̶ between 1950 and 1980 ̶ and has close connections with his home city of Utrecht, with the De Luis group of artists as well as the Stichting De Roos, of which he was one of the founders. De Roos made publications for bibliophiles and commissioned illustrations from numerous graphic artists. Surprisingly the collection also contains prints from the period around 1960, with works by Anton Heyboer, Aat Veldhoen, Zoltin Peeter, Roger Chailloux, Jaap Hillenius and Marte Röling. The only overlap with the Kuijlman collection is Leeflang’s much finer group of early drawings by Peter Vos and the prints and drawings by Jan Mensinga.
As mentioned above, among the 700 sheets in the collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art on paper of Karel S. Levisson (1917-1999), which was given to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede in 1993, there were over 150 from the Kuijlman collection.37 These include groups of works by many of Kuijlman’s favourite artists, such as Jan Toorop, Samuel Jesserun de Mesquita, Herman Kruyder, Piet Ouborg, Dick Cassée, Jeroen Henneman, Aat Verhoog, Peter Vos and Co Westerik, which Levisson acquired from Kuijlman at the same time as smaller selections by artists of earlier generations.38 From his father, Levisson acquired proofs by Jan Toorop, Chris Lebeau and Jacoba van Heemskerck, and with the sheets bought from Kuijlman in 1975 these must have formed the basis of the collection he went on to create. It therefore provides a much broader overview of Dutch figurative and abstract art than the Kuijlman collection. Ultimately the Levisson collection affords a less substantial survey of Dutch art on paper from the late nineteenth and twentieth century, but it is better balanced in terms of quality than Kuijlman’s much larger collection.
In retrospect, it is regrettable that the Gemeentemuseum did not add to the work of the artists favoured by Kuijlman after the purchases of 1971-1972. As a consequence, the collection does not adequately represent their later development.
The more than 1000 sheets the Gemeentemuseum acquired from Kuijlman between 1971 and 1975 have become a time capsule of Dutch art on paper from the period 1950-1970, and bespeak the museum’s leading position in this domain under Hans Locher. Although Kuijlman did not collect Locher’s preferred graphic artist Anton Heyboer, nor M.C. Escher or Constant, the prints and drawings he accumulated represent many of the pioneering Dutch artists whose work was shown at an early stage of their development by the Gemeentemuseum.
After the Second World War, a new interest in contemporary art on paper gave rise to a lively exhibitions and collecting programme with dedicated display spaces for prints and drawings in the Stedelijk Museum, the Haags Gemeentemuseum and the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen. Since then, the majority of these spaces with reduced light levels and a regular programme of monographic as well as group and thematic presentations have disappeared again or been scaled down during remodelling, as happened for example in the renovated Rijksmuseum. Another factor is that in general few Dutch museums now have specialist curators for contemporary and twentieth-century art on paper, which means that they lack a coherent collecting and exhibition strategy for this kind of work.
The impetus for this article was the introduction I gave at the opening of the exhibition De jonge virtuoos Peter Vos, grafiek, tekeningen en getekende brieven 1952-1970 [The young genius Peter Vos, prints, drawings and drawn letters 1952-1970] on 10 February 2017 at the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Since almost all of the works by Peter Vos in the Gemeentemuseum had been bought as part of the Kuijlman collection in 1971-1972, I was surprised to find that so little was known about the man behind this collection. This prompted me to find out more. My thanks go to Susan Adam, Dingenus van de Vrie, Hans Locher, Hans Hoetink, Flip Bool and Kees Kuijlman, the collector’s son, for providing me with information. Their material was later supplemented with memories of the collector provided by Fenna de Vries, Co Westerik, Dick Cassée and former museum staff members, including Mariëtte Josephus Jitta. I am grateful to Joost Bergman for his observations about the prints of Carel Visser; to Ton Geerts, Paul Knolle, John Polder and Ruud ter Beeke for information about the Levisson collection in Rijksmuseum Twenthe; to Susan Adam and Vivien Entius for giving access to museum files in the Gemeentemuseum; and to Marja Stijkel for supplying comparative material from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. At the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, I was kindly helped by Dingenus van de Vrie, Julia van de Bergh and Jan de Klerk, and in the depot of the Stedelijk Museum by Rolf de Kat; I thank them all. I am especially grateful to Carel Blotkamp, Ton Geerts, Jeroen Kapelle and Flip Bool for their critical reading of this article, suggestions and editorial advice and many thanks for the careful translation to Katy Kist and Jennifer Kilian.
The Gemeentemuseum acquired 45 prints and 8 drawings by Jan Toorop in 1971-1972; 5 Toorop drawings from Kuijlman’s holdings went to the Levisson collection, which is now in Rijksmuseum Twenthe. In 1971-1972 the Gemeentemuseum also bought 64 prints and 23 drawings by Jesserun de Mesquita; four of Kuijlman’s Mesquita drawings went to the Levisson collection, now in Enschede.
2 K.G. Boon, B. Spaanstra-Polak and J. Verbeek, De grafiek van Jan Toorop (1858-1928), exhib. cat. Amsterdam (Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum), 8 February-13 April 1969, printed by Van Dooren Printers. The exhibition catalogue forms the earliest oeuvre catalogue of prints by Toorop. A number of exceptional impressions from Kuijlman’s collection were included, now in The Hague: no. 12a (the lithograph Head of a girl in three colour variants); nos. 13a, 18a, 28b and 51a. A fine impression of the Portrait of Degouve de Nunques (no. 74) from Kuijlman’s collection also ended up in The Hague.
3 For Toorop’s drypoints and the need for a new catalogue raisonné of prints by Toorop, see: Clifford S. Ackley, Holland on Paper in the Age of Art Nouveau, exhib. cat. Boston (Museum of Fine Arts) 2013, pp. 108-113, 224.
4 For the rescue by the graphic artist M.C. Escher of part of this studio contents, see: Willem Keizer, Eschers redding van Samuel Jesserun de Mesquitas prentenschat, Woubrugge 2015.
5 Jonieke van Es, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1868-1944). Tekenaar, graficus, sierkunstenaar, Zwolle 2005 with a complete catalogue of his prints; for collections of his work, see: Appendix VII, pp. 352-355. Van Es was an art historian who died much too young. She worked as curator for many years at the Gemeentemuseum and, from 2006 until her sudden death in 2012, at the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen; she was awarded a doctorate in 2010 for her thesis on Jessurun de Mesquita.
6 S.J. de Mesquita, exhib. cat. The Hague (Haags Gemeentemuseum), 27 April-9 June 1968 (Haags Gemeentemuseum/Prentenkabinet no. 24).
7 Idem, list of works exhibited. Between 1971 and 1975, nos. 1-3, 6-16, 16-a/b, 17 and 19, all from the collection of Hans Marcus, came to the Gemeentemuseum with the purchases from the Kuijlman collection, with the exception of no. 17a (preparatory study for H. 136) and no. 18 (H. 114).
8 See Van Es 2005 (note 5), pp. 226-334 for a catalogue raisonné of his prints, in which the impressions from the Kuijlman collection in the Gemeentemuseum are given with the inv. nos. GM-PRE-1971 or -1972. She described the collection acquired in 1971-1972 as ‘van de uitgever J. Kuijlman, die als particulier verzamelaar het werk enkele jaren daarvoor op veilingen en in de handel had verworven’ (‘belonging to the publisher J. Kuijlman, who had acquired them privately a few years earlier at auctions and from dealers’) (p. 354). She did not realise that a number of them came from the Hans Marcus collection (see note 7). It is not possible to determine if some of the other works by Jessurun de Mesquita in the Kuijlman collection came from Hans Marcus. The 1968 exhibition also included loans from the Rotterdam collector Joop Gaertman (1930 -2016), which were sold at auction in June 2015 in Rotterdam (Vendu Notarishuis, 29 May 2015 and subsequent days, nos. 800-851), following Gaertman’s failed attempt to sell his collection to the Gemeentemuseum.
9 Van Es 2005 (note 5), p. 354. In the late 1970s, this collection was studied and put in order by Johannes Marcus (the collector’s son) and Erik Ariëns Kappers. We only now know that Hans Locher had been able to make a modest selection from the collection for his 1968 exhibition. In 1979 the remainder of the collection became the property of Galerie Sothmann, run by Johannes Marcus, and was exhibited between 20 January and 12 March 1980 accompanied by a small publication introduced by E.H. Ariëns Kappers, who published a monograph in 1984: S. Jessurun de Mesquita, exhib. cat. Amsterdam (Joods Historisch Museum)/Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen) 1984-1985; in 1985 Galerie Sothmann also made an illustrated publication about the artist in English.
10 P. Boyens, M. Hoogendonk and W. Schipper, Herman Kruyder 1881-1935. Gedoemde scheppingen. Schilderijen, aquarellen en tekeningen, exhib. cat. Haarlem (Frans Hals Museum)/Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe) 1996-1997, Zwolle 1996, pp. 71-94 for the oeuvre catalogue. Besides the 15 sheets in The Hague, 5 drawings and 5 prints from Kuijlman went via Levisson to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe as part of a larger group. Through the acquisition of 220 drawings by Kruyder from the estate of J.J. Oversteegen in 2005, Enschede houses the largest collection of works on paper by Kruyder; an exhibition marked the acquisition in 2006 with a publication by Carel Blotkamp, Herman Kruyder. In en buiten het Paradijs, exhib. cat. Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe) 2006-2007.
11 L. ten Duis and A. Haase, Ouborg. Schilder/painter, The Hague 1990 (Monografieën van Nederlandse kunstenaars; 7), pp. 108-111. Nine of the thirteen drawings from the Levisson collection in Enschede also came from Kuijlman. All of the sheets in The Hague and Enschede have an authentication stamp on the verso with W. Jos de Gruijter’s signature.
12 Locher Westerik. Tekeningen, aquarellen grafiek, Vlaardingen 1971, p. 100.
13 H. Hoetink, Co Westerik. Tekeningen grafiek en aquarellen uit de verzameling C. Kuijlman, exhib. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen) 20 December 1968-10 February 1969.
14 For Kuijlman’s ambition to possess all of Westerik’s prints, see the interview ‘C. Kuijlman verzamelt prenten om mensen te kennen’ in the Nieuwe Leidsche Courant of 1 Februari 1969. Between 1971 and 1978, 146 impressions of prints up until 1972 were bought from the Kuijlman collection, including many trial proofs. In the catalogue of Westerik’s prints (M. Josephus Jitta and C. Wiethoff, Co Westerik. Grafiek 1945-1984, Amsterdam/The Hague 1984), the majority of the prints up until 1972 catalogued as HGM came from the Kuijlman collection, and the same applies to almost all preparatory studies and some of the trial proofs (p. 79). Also stemming from Kuijlman (together with one watercolour from 1971) were 18 impressions of Westerik prints in the K. Levisson collection, which are now preserved in Enschede: cat. nos. 25, 27, 35, 40, 42, 56, 57, 58, 59 (2x), 64, 67, 70, 71 (6x) and 73. Several of these prints are missing from holdings in The Hague. In Westerik’s travelling exhibition of 1971-1972 all of the prints came from the Kuijlman collection: Wim Beeren and Cor Blok, Co Westerik, exhib. cat. Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum)/Groningen (Groninger Museum)/Brussels (Paleis voor Schone Kunsten), 1971-1972, pp. 53-54, nos. 146-164; Kuijlman also lent a considerable number of the drawings (pp. 42-52).
15 Jitta and Wiethoff 1984 (note 14), compiled by Mariëtte Josephus Jitta, who then worked at the Gemeentemuseum.
16 In the catalogue raisonné of the prints published in 2006 (V. Baar, W. van Toorn and Fenna de Vries, Co Westerik. Grafiek 1945-2006, Rotterdam 2006), 187 prints by Westerik are described, of which the lithograph Children at a Table from 1988 (no. 138), is the latest dated print from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum; for the prints after 1971, the museum has usually only a single impression and/or trial proof.
17 Co Westerik. Overzichtstentoonstelling, exhib. cat. The Hague (Gemeentemuseum) 2006, pp. 114-116.
18 When asked, none of the (mainly former) staff of the Gemeentemuseum remembered that this division had been made, or when it happened. However, it seemed to them to be connected with the possibility of deaccessioning. The division into two groups was not entirely successful. For example, a number of drawings from 1951 which obviously belong together were separated, and several good early self-portraits were placed in category B. This goes to show how dated such determinations can be, something that is very clear in the case of one of the six expensive purchases of 1986, the large silverpoint drawing Family from Westland of 1955, which ended up in the B category.
19 Category A: two A-format boxes and three B-format.
20 Category B: five A-format boxes and four B-format. The bulk are purchases from Kuijlman from the years 1971-1974, but there are also twelve drawings which Westerik made in 1981 for the guidebook to the Netherlands Costume Museum, published by The Hague’s municipal Dienst voor Schone Kunsten, which covers objects that are now part of the Gemeentemuseum.
21 In 1979 the museum bought the drawings reproduced in the 1971 book about Westerik 1971 (note 13): figs. 5 and 43; in 1986 figs. 4, 6, 12 and fig. 6.
22 The inventory of the 97 Westerik drawings/watercolours from the collection of C. van Oosterom-Kleijn, which were presented to the museum in 2004 (information from Dingenus van de Vrie, April 2017), mentions a provenance from the Kuijlman collection for 42 drawings. Moreover, for five other sheets the Kuijlman provenance has been established through references in various publications from 1971. Figs. 8, 10, 18, 33, 38, 45, 46, 53, 55, 56, 57 and 60 in Locher 1971 (note 12) reproduce sheets which came from Kuijlman, and formed part of the Amsterdam collection presented to the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen in 2004.
23 Wim Beeren and Max Pam, Westerik in de Collectie Becht, exhib. cat. Leiden/Voorburg (Huygensmuseum Hofwijck) 1999.
24 H. Hoetink, Dick Cassée. Grafiek en tekeningen uit de verzameling Kuijlman, exhib. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen), 24 March-10 May 1970; Dick Cassée, exhib. cat. The Hague (Haags Gemeentemuseum) 21 April-4 June 1967, with fold-out sheet.
25 In 1971, 58 etchings (and 3 etching plates) and 20 drawings were bought from Kuijlman, followed in 1972 by 87 prints and 8 drawings; there was another purchase in 1986 which added 6 (small) watercolours. The collector Levisson bought 6 watercolours and 17 prints (dated between 1960 and 1970) from Kuijlman, but none of the prints were duplicates of those bought in The Hague in 1971-1972. Kuijlman’s collection of work by Cassée probably contained all of his output up until 1971.
26 The Vissers bought from the Kuijlman collection were: in 1971, 27 prints and 30 drawings; in 1972, 8 prints and 11 drawings, in 1975, 10 prints; and finally in 1986, 3 block prints. I am very grateful to Joost Bergman for information about Carel Visser’s prints. There was an exhibition of his prints in the Gemeentemuseum in the spring of 2019, which was accompanied by a catalogue, Joost Bergman, Carel Visser. Grafiek, exhib. cat. The Hague (Haags Gemeentemuseum)/Zwolle 2019, which coincided with a Carel Visser exhibition at the Museum Beelden aan Zee.
27 See note 3. For the exhibition there was also a leaflet, printed by Van Dooren. There was an earlier exhibition of Carel Visser’s steel sculptures, drawings and prints (2 December 1960-22 January 1961), for which there was a leaflet.
28 In 1968 the Gemeentemuseum purchased 40 of his pen drawings (dated between 1949 and 1956), see: J.L. Locher, Carel Visser. Beelden, tekeningen en grafiek, Vlaardingen (Van Dooren Printers) 1972, figs. 2, 4-7, 15-17, 23-25, 35-36, 38-41 and 44. Shortly after the 1966 purchase, from 13 January-26 February 1967, there was an exhibition of his prints and drawings at the print room. In 1969 the Gemeentemuseum bought his series of 32 drawings Variaties met 8 balken. Idem, fig. 80.
29 Idem, 37, 55-62, 79, 81-83, 85 and 87.
30 Pieter Brattinga, Veertien houtsnedes door Carel Visser, exhib. cat. Amsterdam (Print Gallery), 17 February-15 May 1973, unpaginated.
31 There was an exhibition of work by Sipke Huismans in the Gemeentemuseum’s print room in the spring of 1967; no fewer than 74 of his prints dating between 1966 and 1971 were acquired in 1971-1972. An exhibition of Henri Plaat took place at the print room from 9 June to 23 July 1967. Thirty-two of his drawings (including several large works), mainly watercolours as well as seven prints from the 1960s were bought. Nine drawings and one screen print went from Kuijlman to the Levisson collection, but they were not part of his gift to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. There was an exhibition of works by JCJ VANDERHEYDEN, including paintings, in the print room from 18 March to 24 April 1966; 11 of his prints and 16 drawings were bought in 1971-1972, to which 3 works were added in 1979 through a purchase from Kuijlman.
32 Rudi Fuchs, Wiepke Loos, Jan Mulder et al., Jeroen Henneman. Verzameld werk, Amsterdam/Antwerp/Rotterdam. The same applies to the ten prints and three drawings by Henneman that passed from Kuijlman into the Levisson collection in Enschede.
33 In 1975 the Gemeentemuseum bought one drawing by Schippers from Kuijlman, and eight screen prints by Struycken from Kuijlman’s collection passed with the Levisson collection to Enschede.
34 Gijsbert van der Wal, Zwart vuur. De grafiek van Jan Mensinga, Varik 2012. Twelve of his prints and three drawings were bought in 1971.
35 All of the drawings by Peter Vos in the Gemeentemuseum can be viewed at: http://petervos.rkdmonographs.nl/catalogus-tekeningen/tekeningen-verzameling-gemeentemuseum-den-haag/ (accessed 6-4-2021); for the prints of 1969, see: http://petervos.rkdmonographs.nl/catalogus-prenten/prenten-1961-1969 (accessed 6-4-2021). A selection of the drawings from the collection were exhibited in Maasland in early 1974, with a leaflet introduced by Kees Broos (KB), Peter Vos. Tekeningen uit de collectie Kuijlman, exhib. cat. Maasland (‘De Rozenhof’) 21 February-4 March 1974. Four prints and ten drawings (some from the same sketchbooks) passed from Kuijlman to the Levisson collection, now in Enschede: https://Collectie.rijksmuseumtwenthe.nl/zoeken-in-de-Collectie?q=Peter+Vos. (accessed 6-4-2021)
36 Jan Piet Filedt Kok and Eddy de Jongh in collaboration with Saïda Vos, Peter Vos. Getekende brieven, Amsterdam 2017, p. 109.
37 This makes it probable that Kuijlman completed the bulk of this purchase in 1968; on the verso of a drawing of Pulcinella dated 1961 (Gemeentemuseum inv. no. 0301143; PV-T-1961-HG (3)) Vos wrote a note dated Saturday 29 June: ‘Geachte heer Kuijlman. Hierbij stuur ik U de gesigneerde tekeningen […].’ [‘Dear Mr Kuijlman. I hereby send you the signed drawings […].’]
38 There are two collections in this category which I have not seen for myself. The extensive collection of Jaap Schouten (1939-2007) in Gouda is known to have contained the more or less complete oeuvre of many 20th-century Dutch printmakers. The collection of contemporary drawings formed by Christiaan Braun has a strong international focus, as can be inferred from from the series of exhibitions mounted in his Museum Overholland (1987-1990) in Amsterdam, dedicated to Gerhard Richter, Martin Disler, Thomas Schütte, Arnulf Rainer, Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas, Philip Guston and Jan Fabre. The exhibition Vergezichten. Museum Overholland in het Teylersmuseum Haarlem of 1996-1997 made it clear that the collection contains drawings by Dutch artists, including Armando, Birza, Daniels, Dumas, van Koningsbruggen, Mol and Westerik.
39 Karel S. Levisson, the son of the Hague printer Levie Levisson, who printed works by contemporary artists Jan Toorop and Chris Lebeau in the 1920s, became employed in the early 1960s at the newly founded Technische Hogeschool Twente (later Universiteit Twente). He held various management positions there from the 1970s until his retirement in 1981, and he saw to it that the visual arts were given a place within the institution. See Dorothee Cannegieter, Vriendschap. 75 Jaar mecenaat in het Rijksmuseum Twenthe, exhib. cat. Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe) 2006, pp. 92-97 for a biographical sketch; for the collection see: Dorien Flierman, De Gouden Eeuw van Twente. Zij die de kunst schonken, Enschede 2015, pp. 102-105. Many thanks to Ton Geerts who drew my attention to the collection and inventory in connection with Kuijlman, and to John Polder who informed me that the contact between Levisson and Kuijlman originally came about through him.
40 Johannes Bosboom, Dirk van Gelder, Isaac Israëls, Jan Mankes and Suze Robertson. Several of them are reproduced in the beautiful catalogue of the early works in the Levisson collection: Ton Geerts, Gedroomd papier. Tekeningen en prenten 1850-1935, exhib. cat. Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe), 2010, pp. 7, 23, 45-47.