Rijksmuseum Twenthe - Het kunstmuseum van Enschede

The three tastes of Jop

Dilemmas of an art connoisseur. How do an auctioneer, art historian and art lover view a museum collection? Chairman Jop Ubbens from auction house Christie's used these three ‘lenses' in his selection from the collection of visual art and applied art from the period 1850-1950 of Rijksmuseum Twenthe. The exhibition The three tastes of Jop was on public view from 13 October to 12 May 2013.

Three tastes

In The three tastes of Jop, Ubbens showed that there are different ways to appreciate an artwork. As an art historian he is interested in the rarity of an artwork, its quality and innovative forms. Whereas as a commercially-focussed auction master he is primarily interested in the financial value and saleability of a work. The art lover Ubbens loves artists who set out to explore beyond their own boundaries, searching for new worlds and new inspiration. This is why he selected works by Jan Wiegers, Marius Bauer, Jan Sluijters and Willem Witsen.

Only works from depot

From the depot Ubbens selected more than forty paintings and forty works on paper, many of which have not been available to the public for many years. Examples of these are the life-size canvasses by the German animal painter Wilhelm Kuhnert and his Swedish colleague Bruno Liljefors. In the 1920s when Picasso was revolutionising art, Kuhnert and Liljefors painted animals in nature in a traditional, realistic style. There is no art history book that discusses these artists, but in auctions they guarantee high prices. And then there are engravings and prints by Jan Toorop. Toorop was a great innovator, and is therefore very interesting for art historians. However, Ubbens wouldn’t often bring his work to auction. The public was able to follow the sometimes difficult considerations Ubbens had to make through his commentary on the exhibited works. This in turn prompted viewers to make their own judgments and choices.

Opening festival

The three tastes of Jop was opened on 13 October 2012 during Autumn decoration 2.0 - Festival of the imagination. This festival was dedicated to innovation in art and science. ‘Imagination' was the connecting element in the festival. Visual artists and scientists have throughout the centuries observed, studied and imagined the world in their own way. They imagine and create the new by looking beyond the borders of their own disciplines. With Autumn decoration 2.0 Rijksmuseum Twenthe explored and investigated the fuzzy boundaries of visual art in the search for new discoveries.