This year, Disclosing Architecture pays special attention to restoring 190 works – mostly vulnerable tracings – from the Theo van Doesburg collection. The exhibition Atelier Nelly en Theo van Doesburg is now open in Gallery -1.
Koehorst in ’t Veld on Atelier Nelly and Theo Van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg is the starting point for Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg, the first public exhibition in the context of Disclosing Architecture. This winter, the exhibition will undergo a modest transformation, as the fragile collection items cannot be exposed to light for very long. When designers and curators Jannetje in ’t Veld and Toon Koehorst started working on the exhibition concept, this practical limitation was one of the preconditions. How then did they approach this project? How did they balance their roles as curators and designers? Why does Nelly van Doesburg take centre stage? And how can digitisation help uncover new stories and connections? In an interview, the Koehorst in ’t Veld duo explain the origins of “their” exhibition.
Nelly & Peggy Guggenheim
When she first met Peggy Guggenheim, Nelly talked incessantly about her husband Theo and his work. Peggy was only moderately interested: “I was not in the least impressed and thought she was funny. I allowed her little by little to force her way into my life.” A series of four articles accompanying the exhibition Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg provides more insight into Nelly’s life, her artistic network and her role in the promulgation of Theo’s work.
Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg
A new look at the work of Nelly and Theo van Doesburg is possible thanks to the restoration of their architecture archive. The exhibition recognises Nelly as a key figure in the consolidation of the reputation of Van Doesburg and De Stijl. The magnificent focus of the exhibition will be on the couple’s most striking joint project: their studio-house in the Parisian suburb of Meudon. Sketches, drawings and scale models rarely (if ever) exhibited before reveal the house’s rich history.
In addition, many other projects in the Disclosing Architecture programme are being initiated or further developed.
The first results, expected from the restoration studios dealing with the large bulk of design drawings, will be used to further sharpen the restoration's vision. This content will help to decide which archives will be further developed and restored.
The search portal for the collection will be upgraded for Linked Open Data, allowing increased interrelation with other heritage databases to further enrich the collection. In addition, a team of technicians, designers, and heritage professionals will launch The Other Interface, a new way to make the collection accessible to a wider audience.
Research projects into the value and significance of the collection will continue, with Rethinking the Collection reviewing policies and suggesting alternative approaches. Architectural reproductions will examine the role of the copy in the architect's design process to develop new perspectives on the collection.
Availability Of The Collection
Under the name Closer to Architecture, Het Nieuwe Instituut has launched a six-year programme to improve the architecture collection’s visibility and accessibility. One of the projects within the programme involves the conservation and restoration of a large number of design drawings and photographs. As a result of this work, some archival materials will be unavailable for consultation over the next few years.
Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection available via Collectie Nederland
Over the next six years, Het Nieuwe Instituut is busy making the architecture collection visible through restoration, conservation and digitisation. One of the elements of the Closer to Architecture programme is the Linked Open Data (LOD) project. LOD has reached its first milestone by making collections materials available online via Collectie Nederland (the Dutch National Collection).
25,000 Archive Documents in Transit
25,000 design drawings from 40 different dossiers of four archives are ready to be transported to various restoration studios in the Netherlands. This second batch includes designs by J.P. Kloos, Hartsuyker–Curjel, J.J.P. Oud, and more pieces from the extensive archive of Bureau Van den Broek en Bakema.
Theo van Doesburg in Barbican Art Gallery
From 4 October, two design drawings for Café Aubette from the archive of Theo van Doesburg will be shown in the exhibition Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. In February, the exhibition travels to Vienna, where two other designs for Aubette will be on display. The loan of these drawings has been made possible only after research and conservation as part of the Closer to Architecture programme.