22 Oct 2018

Sharing a Passion for Art

In a private museum in the Netherlands, the collection of a lifetime is open for all to see
Re: Olav Van Caldenborgh (AMP 169)


Through three decades of international business travel as founder and president of the Netherlands-based Caldic Chemie, BV, Joop van Caldenborgh (AMP 71, 1975) also pursued his lifelong passion for collecting modern and contemporary art—from important drawings, paintings, and photographs to a 216-metric-ton steel sculpture by American artist Richard Serra.

When he retired in 2006, passing Caldic’s leadership to his son Olav (AMP 169, 2005), van Caldenborgh had several thousand pieces in his collection. Since 2016, some of those pieces have found a home in Museum Voorlinden, a unique exhibition space set among forests, meadows, and dunes on the Netherlands’ west coast, where, as van Caldenborgh puts it, “there is nothing to distract people from looking at and enjoying art.”

The three-year process of building the museum was, he says, “a hassle, but also an enormous amount of fun.” From exterior plantings chosen for their structure and color to glass walls and a rooftop engineered to direct northern light into the galleries, Voorlinden reflects van Caldenborgh’s vision of creating “a special experience that combines art, nature, and architecture.”

“Sharing art within the proper environment is very meaningful at this time in my life,” observes van Caldenborgh, who spends five or six days a week at Voorlinden. “When I see people going through the museum with smiling faces—and coming back several times—I am happy.”

(Published October 2018)

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Class of AMP 71

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