Lecture (7/13) - The AkzoNobel Art Foundation was founded in 1996 on the request of the former chairman, Mr Kees J.A. van Lede. Initially there was a desire to counterbalance the cold architecture of the new headquarters in Arnhem but soon the idea to collect art got its own motivation: being a good citizen in a multicultural society. Artists had started much earlier with the reflection on that society, so the pioneering spirit of artists made art and culture trailblazers for innovation in the company. AkzoNobel started the buildup of a contemporary collection of international art by young artists. On the basis of a number of key works, Hester Alberdingk Thijm will explain the identity of the corporate collection and how the goal of ‘being a good citizen’ is achieved. The sculpture Victoria Regia (First Night Bloom) by Keith Edmier was a sort of triumph, as Alberdingk Thijm will explain. Does the art collection live in the heart and mind of the employees? Communication is all. At AkzoNobel, they put sustainability in the heart of everything they do in their business. The AkzoNobel art collection is one of our company’s ways of helping maintain and preserve our international cultural heritage for future generations. How does that work?
Hester Alberdingk Thijm (1959) is director of the Akzo-Nobel Art Foundation and worked for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. She functioned in different advisory and management boards in the field of art, at Stichting Niet Normaal, Fries Museum, Het Princessehof, Sikkens Foundation, De Ateliers and Stichting Spinoza Monument, among others. She was the chairman of different advisory committees
at the Mondriaan Fund. She was also a part of the jury for the Dutch contribution to the Venice Biennale in 2013 and 2015.
Photo by Annaleen Louwes