About us and contact details

The story of Singer Laren

Anna and William Singer: founders of Singer Laren
A home where art, business and people come together

 

American couple Anna and William Singer built their villa ‘De Wilde Zwanen’ in Laren, Noord-Holland province in the early twentieth century. By 1902 Laren was already known as an ‘artists’ village’. The couple shared a passion for art, and together amassed an impressive collection over the years. They received their friends, including many artists and other creative individuals, at their home. William also painted, both outdoors and in his studio, and Anna played her grand piano in the sitting room.

 

‘Wilde Zwanen, or “Wild Swans”, is synonymous with the life of Anna and William Singer, who moved from America to the hustle and bustle of Paris, and then “landed” in the artists’ village of Laren on their journey through life.’

 

From private to public
After William died Anna decided to share the collection with the public. She had a museum and theatre built onto the villa. They opened in 1956, welcoming anyone who wished to enjoy the couple’s beautiful artworks. Singer Laren has been known for decades as a unique private piece of cultural heritage consisting of a museum, the villa, a theatre and a sculpture garden. The theatre has since been expanded and refurbished to accommodate both the performing arts and business meetings. Singer Laren thus remains a home where art, business and people come together.

 

Roam around
Things have not stood still over the past few years, and Singer Laren has adapted to the spirit of the times both in its image and in its operations. The most recent development was the major alterations, involving the construction of a brand new theatre that opened in 2017. Visitors now enter via a beautiful large central foyer, where they are immediately greeted by art. The classic villa, ‘De Wilde Zwanen’, and the adjacent foyer link the museum with the theatre, where an intimate auditorium provides comfortable seating for up to 400, with plenty of leg room. Your guests always have first class seats in our theatre. The Singers’ renovated sitting room provides seating for the café, and Piet Oudolf’s sculpture garden never fails to draw people’s attention, with its irresistible invitation to roam around.

 

‘In the spirit of its founder, Singer Laren is the place where the arts come together, where we celebrate the arts.’ – Jan Rudolph de Lorm, museum director

 

Icing on the cake: the Nardinc Collection
Like art and business, Singer Laren remains subject to continuous change, some of it planned, some prompted by ‘an offer you can’t refuse’. In spring 2018 Els Blokker announced her plan to donate the Nardinc Collection to Singer Laren. Merging this collection with the museum’s current collection will enable Singer Laren to show the emergence and flourishing of Dutch modernism as never before. To house the new collection, the museum is being extended with a new wing, and the museum building and Orangerie will be renovated and refurbished in 2020 and 2021. Our goal will be to open the new wing to the public in 2021.

 

Business as (un)usual
Singer Laren is like a magnet for art lovers, theatre goers, free-thinkers and anyone who takes a fresh and creative approach to life. This DNA can be found in all kinds of people, and also in all kinds of companies. Many organisations therefore use the villa, theatre, museum and sculpture garden as an event venue. The different elements of Singer Laren form a whole, but can also be hired separately for meetings, brainstorming sessions, product launches, conferences, lunches, dinners or receptions. Come and join us at home at Singer Laren for business as (un)usual, with a wealth of inspiration in a setting that feels like home.

 

‘This home of performing and visual arts offers unique opportunities as a venue for events.’ - Members of the Dutch Association of Event Managers

 

If you have any questions, please contact our Events Department by mailing evenementen@singerlaren.nl or calling +31 (0)35 539 3966

 

Petra van der Plaats Johan de Jong