Museum of contemporary art De Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

The start of a collection

De Pont opened its doors for the first time on September 12, 1992. Our museum became one of the many Dutch museums to have originated on the basis of a private initiative - something which rarely had occurred in the Netherlands after World War II. There were a few striking differences, though, with respect to most of these predecessors. De Pont did not start, for instance, with a collection left by its founder. And no request was made for support by funds or governments. That financial independence continues to this day.

The museum's founder, the attorney and businessman Jan de Pont, who died in 1987, had decided that part of his fortune would be used for the stimulation of contemporary visual art, but left decisions as to how and where that should occur up to the board of the new foundation. When the search for an appropriate building began, it was hardly clear just how far the ambitions were to go. Discussions on policy were gathering momentum, and it seemed strange to talk about buildings of any size when a collection had yet to take shape. The option of creating a new building was soon eliminated, and it was decided that the location search would focus on old factories, which had already been proven useful as museums in several instances abroad. The fact that Tilburg ultimately became our permanent location has everything to do with Jan de Pont. As a former resident of this city, he was concerned about the fate of its vanishing textile industry and had helped the Thomas de Beer wool-spinning mill to recover after bankruptcy during the 1960s. In 1989 the company ended its activities, and the complex dating from the 1930s came into the picture somewhat fortuitously as a potential location for the young foundation, whose first director Hendrik Driessen had been appointed at the start of that year. With the purchase of the building, for a symbolic sum, four out of the six remaining employees of the spinning mill were also hired as Driessen's first colleagues.

After starting on a cautious facelift, the foundation opted for a more ambitious approach and subjected the building to a thorough renovation under the direction of BenthemCrouwel Architects in Amsterdam. The basic idea was to retain the factory's original character. That conversion process, which took a year and a half, resulted in a distinctive building entirely suitable for museum purposes. It has received wide recognition and even served as inspiration for Tate Modern in London.

Though beautiful in itself, this space of 6000 square meters needed to be filled in a meaningful way after the renovation. Discussions on policy led to an approach accentuating not the breadth but rather the depth of collecting, for which roughly three large exhibitions per year serve as the breeding ground. After the 2002 expansion of the building, which introduced an auditorium and a project space, there came an additional program of smaller presentations not directly related to the collection.

At De Pont's opening, its collection comprised about a dozen works by only three artists, but already among them were now iconic works, such as Richard Long's Planet Circle and The First People by Marlene Dumas. The aim was, and still is, to acquire at least one key work by each artist in the collection, one which could represent the essence of that artist's outlook. In order to achieve that, distinct choices must be made; and so the collection has grown in a relatively slow manner. In twenty years the museum has come to own roughly 600 works, more than half of which is photography or work on paper, by seventy different artists. A number of them— including Berlinde De Bruyckere, Thierry De Cordier, Anton Henning, Roni Horn, Anri Sala, Fiona Tan, Robert Therrien, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans and Mark Wallinger—were introduced to the Netherlands or given their first major exhibition by De Pont. For the coming years as well, our policy will focus on a gradual development of the collection, in which each intended acquisition must constitute a real enrichment and be capable of contributing to the 'dialogue' with works already present in the collection.

Show more
Show less
Save Cancel Want to use bold, italic, links?

Comments (38)

« Previous12Next »
Lucien Kivit on February 21, 2013

Lorant , ,thank you for your nice comment and like, greetings Lucien

Lucien Kivit on February 21, 2013

Viktor, ,thank you for your nice comment and like, greetings Lucien

Lucien Kivit on February 21, 2013

Febrok, thank you for your nice comment, YS and like, greetings Lucien

Lucien Kivit on February 21, 2013

Pappous , thank you for your nice comment and like, greetings Lucien

Ana Maria Scarpellin… on February 22, 2013

Interessante,LIKE 13 ,abraço Ana Maria.

Lucien Kivit on February 22, 2013

Ana Maria, thank you for your nice comment and like, greetings Lucien

Luca Salieri on February 22, 2013


Nothing else to say..

Greetings, Luca

Lucien Kivit on February 23, 2013

Luca, thank you for your nice comment , greetings Lucien

Ricardo Filho on February 24, 2013

Very interesting construction !!!

LIKE 15 + FAV 4

Best wishes,


Lucien Kivit on February 24, 2013

Ricardo, thank you for your nice comment, YS and like, greetings Lucien

Ferlancor on March 2, 2013

Great shot of this amazing museum. VEry nice picture.

YSL 5 16.

Thanks, lucien+ for your visit, comment and *YSL.

Greetings. Fernando.

Lucien Kivit on March 3, 2013

Fernando, thank you for your nice comment, YS and like, greetings Lucien

Ana María Ossorio Ló… on March 7, 2013

Good register and excellent capture of the museum--like 17--AnaM

Lucien Kivit on March 7, 2013

AnaM ,thank you for your nice comment , greetings Lucien

Pom' on April 8, 2013

YsL ~ vale ~ pom'

Lucien Kivit on April 8, 2013

Pom' , thank you for your nice comment, YS and like, greetings Lucien

sergio Delmonico on April 18, 2013

the scene is well framed with good details and of course the colours!



Lucien Kivit on April 19, 2013

Sergio , thank you for your nice comment and like, greetings Lucien

« Previous12Next »

Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Lucien Kivit
Rijkevorsel, België

Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 18, 2013
  • Attribution-No Derivative Works
    by Lucien Kivit
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot A590 IS
    • Taken on 2011/11/29 11:18:15
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash