Geert van Beijeren & Adriaan van Ravesteijn

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Geert van Beijeren Bergen en Henegouwen (1933 – March 2005)[1] and Adriaan van Ravesteijn (1938 – 6 January 2015)[2] were gallerists and art collectors in the Netherlands. Van Beijeren and Van Ravesteijn were the founders of the leading Dutch art gallery Art & Project (1968–2001) and publishers of the art magazine of the same name (1968–1989). During its thirty-year existence, the gallery as well as the magazine made substantial contributions to the Dutch art climate.

Biographical notes[edit]

Geert van Beijeren began his career in the art world as a librarian at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. From 1971 until 1979 he was curator of painting and sculpture at the museum. For that reason he temporarily withdrew from his job as co-administrator of the gallery that he and his partner started a few years earlier. At the Stedelijk Museum he organised solo exhibitions of Robert Ryman and Richard Long, both in 1973. From 1986 until 1988 he returned to the museum scene as head curator at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

Adriaan van Ravesteijn studied architecture at Delft University of Technology. He and his partner Geert van Beijeren were both interested in modern art and from the mid-sixties they were both regular customers of Amsterdam's only contemporary art gallery with an international outlook, Riekje Swart's gallery at Keizersgracht. In September 1968 the couple opened their own gallery, named Art & Project, modestly housed in Van Beijeren's parental home in Amsterdam-Zuid. Adriaan van Ravesteijn took upon himself the day-to-day running of the gallery. Soon afterwards, the first issue of Art & Project Bulletin appeared, which would continue until 1989. It was in that year that the gallery moved from Amsterdam to Slootdorp, a small village north of Amsterdam. In December 2001 the gallery closed down.

Art collection "depot VBVR"[edit]

In 1965, Van Beijeren and Van Ravesteijn (VBVR) began putting together a collection of contemporary art. The history of the collection, which was later dubbed "Depot VBVR", largely coincided with that of the Art & Project gallery and magazine. The emphasis lay on Conceptual Art, Land Art and Minimal Art. Artists that were represented in the collection included Alan Charlton, Francesco Clemente, Adam Colton, Tony Cragg, Ad Dekkers, Ger van Elk, Barry Flanagan, Gilbert & George, Richard Long, Keith Milow, Juan Muñoz, Nicholas Pope, Peter Struycken, David Tremlett, Richard Venlet, Carel Visser and Leo Vroegindeweij.

The largest part of the collection, approximately a thousand works, has been gradually handed over to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschedé. Other Dutch museums that received loans from the Van Beijeren-Van Ravesteijn collection are: the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo. In 2008, after the death of Geert van Beijeren, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City received a collection of some 230 prints, books, posters, photographs and other ephemera from Art & Project co-founder Adriaan van Ravesteijn. The gallery's archives and the owners' personal archives are kept at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD).[3]

In 2009 the Museum of Modern Art staged an exhibition entitled "In & Out of Amsterdam", drawing largely on the Van Ravesteijn-Van Beijeren bequest.[4]