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Raquel van Haver, We Do Not Sleep as We Parade All Through the Night..., 2018. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.

Stedelijk Museum Works to Close Gender Gap in Its Collection

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam announced that it has established two special acquisition funds to help the institution increase its holdings of art by women. The funds are backed by two donors who wish to remain anonymous.

According to the museum, only 4 percent of the art in its collection of more than 100,000 works was created by women artists or designers. “We are aware of this inequality and are committed to redressing the balance,” interim director Jan Willem Sieburgh said in a statement. “As far as our historical collection is concerned this won’t be easy, but there are plenty of opportunities when it comes to contemporary art.”

The Stedelijk recently purchased eight artworks—half of which are by female artists—through its Municipal Art Acquisitions fund. The works by Yael Bartana, Verena Blok, Kate Cooper, Danielle Dean, Deniz Eroglu, Jort van der Laan, Basir Mahmood, and Michele Rizzo were selected from a biannual exhibition organized by the museum to showcase new or recent work by artists living in the Netherlands.

Works by the Colombian artist Raquel van Haver and the Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong—who both currently have solo shows at the Stedelijk—will also enter its collection. The pieces were acquired with the support of BankGiro Loterij.

Created for her exhibition “Spirits of the Soil,” which is on view until April 7, van Haver’s monumental work We Do Not Sleep as We Parade All Through the Night..., 2018, is a figurative collage-like piece comprising layers of paint, plastic, charcoal, tar, paper, ashes, and hair, among other materials, on burlap and depicts a scene inspired by her experiences in Amsterdam, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, London, and other places.

The visual artist and designer de Jong, a former employee of the Stedelijk, is currently featured in “Pinball Wizard: The Work and Life of Jacqueline de Jong,” which closes August 18. de Jong’s painting aRencontre Accidentel of 1964—part of her “Accidental Paintings” series, which merges themes of traffic and travel with the artist’s interest in monstrous figures and distortion—was purchased by the museum.