Design in silver for Helene Kröller-Müller in Nederlands Zilvermuseum

H.P. Berlage, Design drawing for a table setting with serving utensils, 1912, opus book 't Binnenhuis RKD - Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague, Jac. van den Bosch Archive, photo: RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History

‘Are you familiar with Berlage’s silver, which I now enjoy every day? I don’t think so. It’s so sleek and beautiful that only my fine tablecloths complement it. I sometimes wish to remove everything else from the table and I’m already thinking about acquiring a truly beautiful set of tableware alongside it.’
– Helene Kröller-Müller, 30th January 1913, in a letter to Sam van Deventer

Helene Kröller-Müller is well-known as an art lover and collector. We owe the museum bearing her name at De Hoge Veluwe National Park and the unique collection of Van Gogh paintings to her. During her life she frequently commissioned unique pieces from prominent artists, architects, and sculptors. Her distinct taste and remarkable personality greatly influenced the development of art in the early 20th century. However, as is often the case between patron and artist, these collaborations didn’t always go smoothly…

Commissions for Architects Berlage & Van der Velde
At the exhibition ‘Design in Silver for Helene Kröller-Müller’ at the Dutch Silver Museum, you’ll get acquainted with Helene as a patron for silver tableware. Impressed by the architects Berlage and Van de Velde’s earlier designs for buildings, she decided to join forces with them for her silver tableware. This collaboration resulted in three unique sets of silverware.

Distinctive Silver
In the background, the development of the St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge plays a role. It is a so-called ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, an ideal interplay in which architecture, interior and environment are designed as one coherent whole. Is the table silver part of this? Or does it stand on its own? What signature do the architects and the patron leave on the silver? How do the designs fit in the context of the period? Discover the stories and admire this exceptional table silver, rarely exhibited but much appreciated and enjoyed by Helene during her life.

On display from 12 October 2023 to 2 June 2024

Nederlands Zilvermuseum
Kazerneplein 4
2871 CZ  Schoonhoven