Sunday February 2nd, it was very busy in our museum during the opening of two special exhibitions.

Maurice Hollman, grandson of painter Charles Hollman (1877 – 1953) gave an interesting explanation of his grandfather’s work. As the musical son of a wine merchant from Maastricht, Charles had to choose: music, painting or the wine trade. He took lessons with the well-known painter Rob Graafland and gradually developed into an ‘pur sang’ impressionist. Hollman often used dark colors but was certainly not a somber person, according to grandson Maurice. He was inspired by the music of Beethoven, Chopin and Grieg and succeeded in making a storm truly “tangible and visible”.
In addition to a large number of beautiful paintings from the private collection of Paul Swaen from Noordgouwe (province of Zeeland), sketches of the young Charles Hollman can be seen on stationery, quotes and even on ledgers of his father’s wine trade.

The numerous present public then got a good insight into the life and work of painter and draftsman Harrie Bartels (1936-2015). Daughter Monica sketched a lively picture of a passionate painter and loving father. With the support of his wife, he maintained the family, which was not obvious as an artist in the 1960s and 1970s. “It was not always easy, but we enjoyed it”, says Monica, who is happy with the renewed interest in her father’s work.
Collector Jo Kuckelkorn from Maastricht got to know Bartels well and became friends with him. They often had daily contact. “Harry was a thinker and musler; an explorer who taught us to look differently. He did not paint intense emotions, but he could display deep impressions in soft hues. The pastel-colored windows were particularly successful. They sold like sweet pastries on the counter of the Art Loan, ”says Kuckelkorn.
But Bartels wanted something different and stopped with the theme to focus on representing the landscape, the people and animals he saw during his travels to Morocco. He also added a dimension of his own to the landscapes in the Peel and South Limburg.

The works on display in our museum until 13 April 2020 come from the collection of DSM, the municipality of Meerssen and private collections, among others.

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photos: Theo Solberg