Helene Kröller-Müller

Last updated
Helene Kröller-Müller
Helene Muller and Anton Kroller.jpg
Helene Müller and Anton Kröller, ca. 1888
Born(1869-02-11)11 February 1869
Essen, Germany
Died14 December 1939(1939-12-14) (aged 70)
Otterlo, The Netherlands
OccupationArt collector and philanthropist

Helene Kröller-Müller (11 February 1869 – 14 December 1939) was one of the first European women to put together a major art collection. She is credited with being one of the first collectors to recognise the genius of Vincent van Gogh. She donated her entire collection to the Dutch people, along with her and her husband, Anton Kröller's, large forested country estate. Today it is the Kröller-Müller Museum and sculpture garden and Hoge Veluwe National Park, the largest national park in the Netherlands.

Vincent van Gogh Influential Dutch Post-Impressionist painter (1853–1890)

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. However, he was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

Kröller-Müller Museum Art museum, National museum in Otterlo, Netherlands

The Kröller-Müller Museum is a national art museum and sculpture garden, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo in the Netherlands. The museum was founded by art collector Helene Kröller-Müller and opened in 1938. It has the second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, after the Van Gogh Museum. The museum had 380,000 visitors in 2015.

Hoge Veluwe National Park

Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe is a Dutch national park in the province of Gelderland near the cities of Ede, Wageningen, Arnhem and Apeldoorn. It is approximately 55 square kilometers in area, consisting of heathlands, sand dunes, and woodlands. It is situated in the Veluwe, the area of the largest terminal moraine in the Netherlands. Most of the landscape of the park and the Veluwe was created during the last Ice Age. The alternating sand dune areas and heathlands may have been caused by human utilization of the surrounding lands. The park forms one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands.


She was born Helene Emma Laura Juliane Müller at Essen-Horst  [ de ], Essen, Germany, into a wealthy industrialist family. Her father, Wilhelm Müller, owned Wm. H. Müller & Co., a prosperous supplier of raw materials to the mining and steel industries. [1] She married Dutch shipping and mining tycoon Anton Kröller in 1888 and used both surnames in accordance with Dutch tradition.

Essen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Essen is the central and second largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of 583,393 makes it the ninth largest city of Germany, as well as the fourth largest city of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On the Ruhr and Emscher rivers, Essen geographically is part of the Rhineland and the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region. The Ruhrdeutsch regiolect spoken in the region has strong influences of both Low German (Westphalian) and Low Franconian.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

She studied under Henk Bremmer in 1906-1907. As she was one of the wealthiest women in the Netherlands at the time, Bremmer recommended that she form an art collection. In 1907, she began her collection with the painting Train in a Landscape by Paul Gabriël. Subsequently, Helene Kröller-Müller became an avid art collector, and one of the first people to recognise the genius of Vincent van Gogh. She eventually amassed more than 90 van Gogh paintings and 185 drawings, one of the world's largest collections of the artist's work, second only to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. She also bought more than 400 works by Dutch artist Bart van der Leck, but his popularity did not take off like van Gogh's. [2]

Henk Bremmer Dutch painter

Hendricus Peter (Henk) Bremmer was a Dutch painter, art critic, art teacher, collector and art dealer. He was the father of the painter Rudolph Bremmer (1900–1993).

Art Creative work to evoke emotional response

Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.

Van Gogh Museum Art museum, National museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Van Gogh Museum is one of the many art museums in the Netherlands dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Van Gogh House can be visited in Zundert, a museum in Van Gogh's old residence. In the city of Tilburg, the old drawing room of Vincent van Gogh has been reconstructed. In the Van Gogh Town Nuenen you can see many monuments that Vincent van Gogh painted. The Vincetre is also located in Nuenen, a Museum about the life of Van Gogh.

Georges Seurat, 1889-90, Le Chahut , oil on canvas, 171.5 x 140.5 cm (66 7/8 x 54 3/4 in), Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands Georges Seurat, 1889-90, Le Chahut, oil on canvas, 170 x 141 cm, Kroller-Muller Museum.jpeg
Georges Seurat, 1889-90, Le Chahut , oil on canvas, 171.5 x 140.5 cm (66 7/8 x 54 3/4 in), Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands

Kröller-Müller also collected works by modern artists, such as Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Léger, Diego Rivera, Juan Gris, Piet Mondrian, Gino Severini, Joseph Csaky, Auguste Herbin, Georges Valmier, María Blanchard, Léopold Survage and Tobeen. However, Bremmer advised her not to buy A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, which turned out to be an important icon of 20th-century art. She did purchase however Le Chahut by Seurat, another icon in the history of modern art. [3] Also, she steered away from artists of her native Germany, whose work she found "insufficiently authoritative." [4]

Georges Braque French painter and sculptor

Georges Braque was a major 20th-century French painter, collagist, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. His most important contributions to the history of art were in his alliance with Fauvism from 1906, and the role he played in the development of Cubism. Braque’s work between 1908 and 1912 is closely associated with that of his colleague Pablo Picasso. Their respective Cubist works were indistinguishable for many years, yet the quiet nature of Braque was partially eclipsed by the fame and notoriety of Picasso.

Jean Metzinger French painter

Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes wrote the first theoretical work on Cubism. His earliest works, from 1900 to 1904, were influenced by the Neo-impressionism of Georges Seurat and Henri-Edmond Cross. Between 1904 and 1907 Metzinger worked in the Divisionist and Fauvist styles with a strong Cézannian component, leading to some of the first proto-Cubist works.

Albert Gleizes French painter

Albert Gleizes was a French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism and an influence on the School of Paris. Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger wrote the first major treatise on Cubism, Du "Cubisme", 1912. Gleizes was a founding member of the Section d'Or group of artists. He was also a member of Der Sturm, and his many theoretical writings were originally most appreciated in Germany, where especially at the Bauhaus his ideas were given thoughtful consideration. Gleizes spent four crucial years in New York, and played an important role in making America aware of modern art. He was a member of the Society of Independent Artists, founder of the Ernest-Renan Association, and both a founder and participant in the Abbaye de Créteil. Gleizes exhibited regularly at Léonce Rosenberg’s Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in Paris; he was also a founder, organizer and director of Abstraction-Création. From the mid-1920s to the late 1930s much of his energy went into writing, e.g., La Peinture et ses lois, Vers une conscience plastique: La Forme et l’histoire and Homocentrisme.

On a trip to Florence in June 1910, she conceived the idea of creating a museum-house. [5] From 1913 onwards parts of her collection were open to the public; until the mid-1930s her exhibition hall in The Hague was one of the very rare places where one could see more than a few works of modern art. [6] In 1928, Anton and Helene created the Kröller-Müller Foundation to protect the collection and the estates. In 1935, they donated to the Dutch people their entire collection totaling approximately 12,000 objects, on condition that a large museum be built in the gardens of her park. [7] Held in the care of the Dutch government, the Kröller-Müller Museum was opened in 1938.

The Kröller-Müller Museum is nestled in their 75-acre (300,000 m2) forested country estate, today the largest national park in the Netherlands, the Hoge Veluwe National Park near the town of Otterlo and Arnhem. A lavish art gallery was planned near their iconic lakeside Jachthuis Sint Hubertus hunting lodge and landscape statue of their close personal friend, the South African Boer General Christian de Wet on the estate. [8] Due to threat of war the plans were never implemented in their lifetime but once the war was over a large forest sculpture garden and understated open exhibition extension was opened, housing statues by Rodin and the second largest collection of van Gogh paintings in the world, including the famous Sunflowers.

Otterlo Village in Gelderland, Netherlands

Otterlo is a small village in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands, in or near the Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe.

Arnhem City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Arnhem is a city and municipality situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located on both banks of the rivers Nederrijn and Sint-Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem had a population of 156,600 in 2017 and is one of the larger cities of the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the Arnhem-Nijmegen Metropolitan Area which has a combined 736,500 inhabitants.

Christiaan de Wet Boer general

Christiaan Rudolf de Wet was a Boer general, rebel leader and politician.

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<i>The Potato Eaters</i> painting by Vincent van Gogh

The Potato Eaters is an oil painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh painted in April 1885 in Nuenen, Netherlands. It is in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The original oil sketch of the painting is at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, and he also made lithographs of the image, which are held in collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The painting is considered to be one of Van Gogh's masterpieces.

Bart van der Leck Dutch painter, designer and ceramist

Bart van der Leck was a Dutch painter, designer, and ceramicist. With Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian he founded the De Stijl art movement.

Vincent van Gogh lived during the Impressionist era. With the development of photography, painters and artists turned to conveying the feeling and ideas behind people, places, and things rather than trying to imitate their physical forms. Impressionist artists did this by emphasizing certain hues, using vigorous brushstrokes, and paying attention to highlighting. Vincent van Gogh implemented this ideology to pursue his goal of depicting his own feelings toward and involvement with his subjects. Van Gogh's portraiture focuses on color and brushstrokes to demonstrate their inner qualities and van Gogh's own relationship with them.

Albert Aurier French artist

G. Albert Aurier was a French poet, art critic and painter, devoted to Symbolism.

<i>Décoration for the Yellow House</i> painting series by Vincent van Gogh

Décoration for the Yellow House was the main project Vincent van Gogh focused on in Arles, from August 1888 until his breakdown the day before Christmas. This Décoration had no pre-defined form or size; the central idea of the Décoration grew step by step, with the progress of his work. Starting with the Sunflowers, portraits were included in the next step. Finally, mid-September 1888, the idea took shape: from this time on he concentrated on size 30 canvases, which were all meant to form part of this Décoration.

Drawings and water-colours and prints by Vincent van Gogh is an incomplete list of works on paper and other works by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) that form an important part of his complete body of work.

Charley Toorop Dutch painter

Charley Toorop was a Dutch painter and lithographer. Her full name was Annie Caroline Pontifex Fernhout-Toorop.

<i>Still Life with Straw Hat</i> painting by Vincent van Gogh

Still Life with Straw Hat also known as Still Life with Yellow Straw Hat and Still Life with Hat and Pipe was painted by Vincent van Gogh in late November - mid-December 1881 or possibly in 1885 in the town of Nuenen.

Early works of Vincent van Gogh painting series by Vincent van Gogh

The early works of Vincent van Gogh compose a group of paintings and drawings that Vincent van Gogh made when he was 27 and 28, in 1881 and 1882, his first two years of serious artistic exploration. Over the course of the two-year period Van Gogh lived in several places. He left Brussels, where he had studied for about a year in 1881, to return to his parent's home in Etten, where he made studies of some of the residents of the town. In January 1882 Van Gogh went to The Hague where he studied with his cousin-in-law Anton Mauve and set up a studio, funded by Mauve. During the ten years of Van Gogh's artistic career from 1881 to 1890 Vincent's brother Theo would be a continuing source of inspiration and financial support; his first financial support began in 1880 funding Vincent while he lived in Brussels.

<i>Cart with Red and White Ox</i> painting by Vincent van Gogh

Cart with Red and White Ox is an oil painting created in 1884 by Vincent van Gogh. It is in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands and may have been made either before or after Cart with Black Ox. Van Gogh painted both some four years before leaving the Netherlands for the South of France.

<i>Peasant Character Studies</i> (Van Gogh series) painting series by Vincent van Gogh

Peasant Character Studies is a series of works that Vincent van Gogh made between 1881 and 1885.

<i>Sien</i> (Van Gogh series) Dutch tailor and prostitute

Vincent van Gogh drew and painted a series of works of his mistress Sien during their time together in the Netherlands. In particular, his drawing Sorrow is widely acknowledged as a masterwork of draftsmanship, the culmination of a long and sometimes uncertain apprenticeship in learning his craft.

Still life paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Netherlands) painting series by Vincent van Gogh

Still life paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Netherlands) is the subject of many drawings, sketches and paintings made during Vincent van Gogh's early artistic career. Most still lifes made in the Netherlands are dated from 1884 to 1885, when he lived in Nuenen. His works were often in somber colors. Van Gogh experimented with the use of light falling across objects.

Still life paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Paris)

Still life paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Paris) is the subject of many drawings, sketches and paintings by Vincent van Gogh in 1886 and 1887 after he moved to Montmartre in Paris from the Netherlands. While in Paris, Van Gogh transformed the subjects, color and techniques that he used in creating still life paintings.

<i>Road with Cypress and Star</i> painting by Vincent van Gogh

Road with Cypress and Star, also known as Country Road in Provence by Night, is an 1890 oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. It is the last painting he made in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. The painting is part of the large van Gogh collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park at Otterlo in the Netherlands.

Joseph Mendes da Costa Dutch sculptor

Joseph Mendes da Costa was a Dutch sculptor and teacher.