The Singer Laren Museum has received a large donation and financial resources for the new museum wing. Gift includes the complete private collection of artwork by Els and Jaap Blokker: Nardinc Collection. Five new rooms will open with works next week. The couple lived between their paintings for forty years.
A picture of both collectors hangs at the entrance to the new Nardinak Pavilion. Jaap was drawn by Pete van den Boog and Els was captured by the great photographer Erwin Olaf. It radiated visitors to the museum. Said the widow Els Blokker-Verwer (1947) in a conversation with news hour†
She has never given interviews, but now that her life’s work has been submitted, she makes an exception.
“This is truly a collection of our collection, brought together with love and devotion over forty years. I was always looking to see if a painting made an impact on me and my husband seemed more to see if it fit into the collection. He thought this donation was a good initiative.” Plans to create a private museum were already put on hold and other dreams for the future ended when Jaap Blücker died in 2011.
The Nardinc group is named after their former home in Laren “Huize Nardinclant,” where the couple began collecting. It concerns a total of 117 works by 41 different Dutch artists from around 1900, all of whom are modernists. The couple’s favorite was Jean Slaughters, with the core of the collection being more than forty paintings. “He lived in Villa Vita Nova in Hilversumsweg in Laren, which still exists,” says Blokker.
From the villa, Slaughters painted his view of “Larren Landscape with Cyclists”. It is a sunny work with brightly colored dots and surfaces that three cyclists ride through. Very common now, but then bikes are a new thing. In 2022, the A1 exit intersects with the picturesque landscape of Sluijter in the past.
The collection also includes works by Kees van Dongen, Leo Gestel, Jan and Charley Toorop, among others. Paintings are hung in the room by theme. They vary from ‘nudes’ and ‘portraits’ to simply ‘party’.
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“A feast of appreciation,” Blokker enthusiastically calls it. You remember exactly where everything in the house hung. “The Kees Maks were hanging in the stairwell.” A photo of the former entrance hall of Blokker’s Spanish mac dancer, residents dancing on happily landing on the left, a stately portrait of Karel Wellink with his wife and the tomb of Joe Coaster “Girl in a Sun Hat” hung behind the stairs.
In the museum’s stately nudes room, Blokker explains that all of those paintings hang in the dorm suite. “We deliberately kept them out of sight so as not to shock our visit. Since there is more space here, all the paintings appear much nicer than they did in my house.”
When curator Ruby Bose, hired specifically to run the Nardink Group, returned to Els Blücker’s home about three years ago, her jaw dropped. I thought “Is this real?” The amount was huge! In addition, there are also beautiful but less well-known names such as Mommie Schwarz and artists Jo Koster and Else Berg. “
to donate it Blokker follows in the footsteps of Anna Singer art university, who founded the Singer Museum in 1956 with her own collection. The current board of directors now holds positions in Singer’s former home.
Director Jan Rudolf de Lorm: “There is again a woman from Laren who has a collection that allows us to show an important peak in Dutch art. We connect the Dutch impressionism of the singers with the Dutch modernism collected by Els and Jaap Blücker. Then also in the place where it is usually made: in the artists’ colony Laren .can’t be seen anywhere in the Netherlands.”
In 2015, Mrs. Renee Smithweiss, an advisor to the Blokker couple, donated her important private collection of Dutch Expressionism to the museum. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Nardinak Pavilion will be inaugurated on March 8, International Women’s Day. Crowning glory with the opening of Princess Beatrix, who is also an artist and collector.
Blokker: “I’m glad the group is staying together. That was our choice. I’m glad I can now share the paintings with other people.”
Slaughters and Modernists Gallery. Group NardinkIt can be seen from March 9 to August 28 in singer Lareen.
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”