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RKD acquires four unknown letters by Mondrian

August 3, 2020
Previously unknown postcard by Mondrian to Arnout Colnot, 1923

At an auction in February the RKD purchased the archive of the Dutch artists’ society known as the Hollandsche Kunstenaarskring. The archive includes four previously unknown letters and postcards from Piet Mondrian. They were written in the period c. 1918-1923 and addressed to various committee members of the Kunstenaarskring.

In the letters Mondrian makes several proposals, including inviting his friends Peter Alma, Bart van der Leck and Albert Hulshoff Pol to exhibit with the society. With the Hollandsche Kunstenaarskring artists could only exhibit by invitation of one of the societies members. The society was set up in 1915, when a number of artists abandoned the Vereniging Sint Lucas (St Luke’s Society). In 1922 the Hollandsche Kunstenaarskring organised the
Retrospective Exhibition of Works by Piet Mondrian in Honour of his Fiftieth Birthday. The driving force behind the show, which included dozens of works by Mondrian, was the collector Sal Slijper. It was one of the largest and most important exhibitions of Mondrian’s work held during his lifetime.