The gift

Singer Laren has been given the private art collection built up by Jaap Blokker and his wife Els Blokker-Verwer: the Nardinc Collection. The gift, which comprises over a hundred Dutch avant-garde artists from around 1900, includes the financial resources to build a new wing to house the collection. 

Blokker headed the retail chain of the same name until 2010 and died a year later. The decision to turn the collection over to the museum was made by his widow Els Blokker-Verwer. The collection is built around forty works by Jan Sluijters, who was the couple’s favourite painter. Also part of the collection are paintings by Leo van Gestel and Jan Toorop. 

The new wing will be ready in spring 2022.

Els Blokker-Verwer: “It was never our intention to create a collection. We had the opportunity to buy works and that is how it grew. It would be ‘a bit selfish’ to keep the collection to herself. Those paintings belonged to other people and now I’m giving others a chance to enjoy them as well.”