Recently, energy network company Alliander organised an online auction of artworks that no longer fitted in the organisation’s art collection. Current and former employees were given the possibility to bid for the artworks. They jumped to the opportunity: 170 works were sold.
On October 5th, at the Leeuwarden-office, QKunst-team member Mijke Rummens was standing ready to hand over the artworks to their new owners. ‘I only saw happy faces all day’, she recalls. One of those belonged to Maarten Mulder, manager at IT Asset, who bought two pieces. ‘I’m moving into a new house next year. It has very high walls, so I was looking for big artworks. I only realised how big they were when I came to pick them up. One just about fit in my car, the other didn’t. It was a bit of hassle to organise alternative transportation, but I managed and I hung the biggest piece in my living room that same weekend. I’m thrilled to now personally own works that I know from the office.’
Due to the renovation of all its offices, Alliander, assisted by QKunst, developed an art policy that makes way for a special relocation of the artworks. Works that no longer fit in the collection have been deaccessioned according to the ‘Netherlands guidelines for deaccessioning of museum objects’ (LAMO) and the Heritage law. Artworks are first presented to museums and institutions where they can be durably displayed and managed.
Successful auction at Alliander
For instance, the sculpture ‘Nakaarten’ (Having in a chat afterwards), by Hetty Noorman (1927-2010), who worked in Loosdrecht, found a new home at Stichting Kunstbezit ’s-Graveland. They are going to pick a spot for the sculpture near the Loosdrechtse Plassen. Stichting Kohesie added a work by Wim van Woerkom (1905-1998) to their collection. The Amsterdam Museum welcomes the ‘Ooster Gasfabriek’ by Herman Heijenbrock (1871-1948) and the City of Amsterdam a pre-study of a sculpture by André Volten (1925-2002) placed in the Amsterdam public space.
In some cases, works have been returned to their maker of his/her family. The sculptures ‘Opstijgende reiger’ (Ascending heron) and ‘Het gezin’ (The family) by artist Leo Camps have recently been placed back in the ‘Boenderbos’ in Belgium. The Boenderbos is Leo Camps’ sculpture garden and is situated in Belgian Limburg. The sculptures have been well placed: the family appears on one of the garden paths as if they are visitors. The heron seems to be rising from the reed on the waterfront.
This way, works that were kept in the storage room have now found new homes and are being seen and enjoyed in living rooms, museums and in public space.