Van Bommel van Dam

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With pride, Museum Valkenburg presents a special exhibition from Sunday 21 October with masterpieces from the Van Bommel van Dam collection. The museum of the same name in Venlo is temporarily closed due to moving to the vm. Post office. The most beautiful works can be seen in Valkenburg in all museum rooms on the ground floor: works by Aad de Haas, Ger Lataster and Pieter Defesche. But also works by internationally renowned artists such as Eugène Brands, Wim Oepts, Sierk Schröder, Herbert Fiedler, Leo Gestel, Jan Schoonhoven, Kees Maks and Woody Amen The Jacques Vonkzaal is reserved for beautiful series by graphic artist Flip van der Burgt.

Acting director Bernard Ellenbroek considers it important that works from the Venlo museum can now be seen elsewhere. The museum also expects foreign tourists visiting Valkenburg during the Christmas period. “In the halls, various films are shot about the collector couple and their enormous collection.

A collection for a museum

Maarten van Bommel started collecting after the Second World War. As a 16-year-old he bought his first artwork. He started as a scholarship agent, and opened his own securities office in Amsterdam in 1930. In 1944 he married Reina van Dam. From that moment on, the couple threw themselves into collecting modern art and this has never stopped.
From their marriage they lived at the Sarphatistraat in Amsterdam. But that house became too small. Maarten and Reina decided to donate their collection of more than 1,000 works of art to a municipality that could offer them a museum with a home. That happened in Venlo in 1969. Museum Van Bommel van Dam was built, with a bungalow for the couple.

Collect with the heart

The art collection is one of great contrasts. “Maarten and Reina bought with their hearts,” said nephew Gerrit de Jong from Voorburg. “Maarten had been reformed but had great difficulty with dogmas and turned his back on the church. He did, however, remain religious. “The collection contains, for example, two series by the graphic designer Flip van der Burgt:” Kruiswegstaties “and” Tien Geboden “which can be seen in Valkenburg.
“Rightly so,” says Gerrit, “that the collection has become public property. When we saw each other, Maarten had no doubt that his collection belonged to the community. ”

In their bungalow in Venlo the couple lived for years in the middle of their collection. They often went to watch their artworks. Also late at their slippers. Employees also spoke of ‘the slumber corridor’ in the museum.

photographer: Erwin Olaf (Collection Van Bommel van Dam)

For his contribution to the culture in Venlo, Maarten van Bommel received the golden city medal of the municipality on his 80th birthday
Maarten van Bommel died in 1991. Reina died in 2008 at the age of 98. She was in Venlo a familiar appearance with her red hat. Even in the museum she liked to be behind the reception to an old age. It was her home.

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