The Van Abbemuseum has been sourcing, purchasing and exhibiting modern art since it first opened its doors in 1936. Obviously the art that was bought in the early years is not contemporary anymore, but much of it is now highly recognised. The museum exhibits work from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel, Marlene Dumas and Marc Chagall. “In a sense the museum is a treasure chamber,” says the museum’s marketing manager, Ilse Cornelis. “It has been successful in acquiring art in the early stages of well-known artist’s careers. But the museum also keeps buying art from much lesser known, talented artists. In that way we are a laboratory too,” says Cornelis.

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