The real ’troostkunst’*

*For you, from me

1 June until 4 October 2020

At the end of April they first appeared in the streets of Schiedam behind the windows of residents and shops: posters with consoling art from Schiedam, which we call ’troostkunst’. The original works of art by more than fifty Schiedam artists – the real ’troostkunst’ – are now on display in the museum.

You can buy many of the original works in the exhibition, which is unique for a museum. ‘In this way, we give the artists an extra boost,’ says director Deirdre Carasso. ‘Thanks to the support of the De Groot Fonds and the Schiedam Vlaardingen Fonds, we were able to pay all participants. Do you also want to do something? Then buy a set of ten postcards. The proceeds go to all participating artists.’

The strength of the exhibition lies in its diversity. It includes paintings and photos, but also collages, three-dimensional images and works with text. Aldo Hoeben literally made a cup of comfort: a cup of coffee. Jacques Tange painted an interior with a cat. And there is the embrace of Sarah van der Pols. Under the title She who takes and gives, Diederik Klomberg submitted an image of nature.

During the closure of the museum, people could order the poster Troostkunst from Schiedam for free. The enthusiasm exceeded our expectations, says Carasso. ‘In three weeks, we sent about fifteen hundred posters. Our volunteers brought them around the city.’ A quarter went to people outside Schiedam, even to Canada. The museum also received thousands of emails from people who thought it was a very pleasant project. Carasso: ‘Some wrote that they would like to make a donation to the artists.’

Helping out
The municipality of Schiedam ordered construction fence screens with four Troostkunst posters around the Parkweg Midden project and made more than thirty billboards available for the period from 5 May to 15 June 2020. The Ketelfactory and other cultural organizations displayed the posters as a kind of wallpaper for the windows. And it went ‘a bit’ viral online, Carasso noticed. ‘It was reminiscent of our campaign at the Museum Prize that we had around the same time last year. Even then many people in the city came to help us out.’

Care workers
As a thank you for the work of care workers, 3,750 postcards went to the Frankeland group employees and volunteers with residential and care locations in Schiedam and Vlaardingen. There are around 8,000 postcards circulating around the Netherlands. You can order them online or buy them in the museum shop.

Participating artists
Adrianus, Albert de Bruin, Aldo Hoeben, André Pielage, Ankie Manders, Annemarie van Grinsven, Annemarie van Ulden, Atelier LAK, Bo-Danique Bloem, Bram Uil, Carolina Koster, Dick Berckenkamp, Diederik Klomberg, Esther van der Eerden, Esther van Duffelen, Esther Zitman, Frans Huisman, Frieda Mellema | lab 71, Gerrit Bruins, Henny van Leeuwen, IAMTHEVISUALIST, Inge Hoefnagel, Inge van Haastert, Isra Páez, Jacques Tange, Jeffrey Burger, John Middelkoop, Jolande Bosch, Klowntjepiet, Margi Geerlinks, Marian Langelaan, Michalina Malolepsza, MilleLuci, Mirjam van den Haspel, Nancy Roeters, Nikolaj, Paul de Graaff, Pien Senders – Westerveld, Rob van der Ven, SAGE, Sander Groen, Sarah van der Pols, Sasha Zuidam, Sebastiaan Straatsma, Sjef van Duin, Theo Gootjes, Tobias Lengkeek, VELD & VAAS, Vivian Ammerlaan, Willem den Broeder, Yvon Koopman.