Rijksmuseum receives largest-ever gift of €12.5 million for sculpture garden exhibits
A gift of 12.5 million euros donated to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will guarantee that continuation of the museum’s free annual sculpture exhibitions for another ten years, the museum announced on Monday. The gift is the largest ever received by the museum in its 138-year history.
It was given by a private donor whose name was not released. “The benefactor has been supporting the series since 2013,” the museum said in a statement. The gift will be used to set up a foundation dedicated specifically to the Rijksmuseum Gardens, which will manage use of the funds, and potentially encourage more long-term partnerships.
Money provided by funds, partners, and private donors makes up one-third of the income the Rijksmuseum receives annually. “We are hugely grateful for this exceptionally large donation, and delighted that it will allow us to present the most outstanding modern and contemporary art in the Rijksmuseum Gardens, where it can be enjoyed by everyone, free of charge,” said Rijksmuseum Director Taco Dibbits.
The annual series of outdoor exhibits began in 2013, typically featuring a single artist. The current exhibition in the garden is by Richard Long, a 78-year-old British contemporary artist who produced six new pieces for the Rijksmuseum Gardens show. Two existing pieces are also included. “His work involves subtle interventions in landscapes that he explores by walking,” the museum said. “His four new works in grass in the gardens marks a return for the artist to the start of his more than 50-year career and his 1967 work A Line Made by Walking.”
The exhibition opens on Friday and continues through October 29. The Rijksmuseum Gardens are open to everyone and are free of charge. Previous exhibits showcased the work of Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Giuseppe Penone, Jean Dubuffet, Eduardo Chillida Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly and Barbara Hepworth.
The donor who provided long-term support for the Rijksmuseum Gardens also made a donation to stage the 2022 exhibition, Crawly Creatures. Additionally, in 2017, they loaned the museum “the illustrious Anselmus de Boodt albums, which contain more than 700 late-16th century watercolours and drawings of flora and fauna.”