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Index of 20th century artists

Publication of the Index of Dutch visual artists, craftsmen and photographers, 1870-2009.

In 1978 Christopher Wright wrote a textbook on classical art in Dutch museums, which became widely used. Discussions between the ICN (now RCE), the Mondriaan Foundation and the RKD formulated the notion that such a manual is also necessary for the 20th century.


Appel Zonder titel 1975

Karel Appel, Untitled, 1975, acrylic on paper, National Collection. Work of one of the most prolific artists in the index.

The Netherlands lacked a overview of modern Dutch art (1880-2009) in museum collections. It was not really clear as to which artists were represented in which museums. Thus the ICN wished to investigate the extent to which museums collect artworks by the most important Dutch artists of the period 1880 up to the present.

Who is important?

To answer that question it was first necessary to determine who the 'most important' artists are and were. The first step was to select the verifiable selection criteria to be applied. The final number of selected artists also had to be decided.

Reference books

Artist names were included on the basis of references about late 19th century and 20th century art ('modern' in the broad sense). The list also gives the source of the artist's name. The result: publication of the names and life dates of the most important modern artists of the Netherlands: Index of Dutch artists, craftsmen and photographers from 1870 to 2010 (See Results).