The two collectors
Frits Lugt (1884 - 1970)
Frits Lugt is known for his collection of seventeenth-century drawings and prints, especially by Rembrandt. During his travels in Egypt and Italy, he made the acquaintance of the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. From the nineteen-twenties, he also collected Egyptian objects, Greek pottery and Roman glass.
After world war II, Lugt established himself in Paris. He housed his collections in the Fondation Custodia, in the Institut Néerlandais he founded. His antique collections stand to this day in that monumental eighteenth-century building, in the midst of breath-taking paintings, furnishings, rugs and porcelain.
Helene Kröller-Müller (1869 - 1939)
Helene Kröller-Müller collected impressionistic and modernistic paintings at an never-before-seen scale. Big names in her collection include Van Gogh, Picasso and Mondrian. Her ideal was to set up a large museum for art appreciation at Hoge Veluwe.
Helene Kröller-Müller had a penchant for the calm, abstract shapes of Egyptian antiquity and for the refinement of Greek pottery. She clearly sought out the spiritual in art, both in contemporary works and in the antiquities she surrounded herself with.