VU Art collection

VU University Amsterdam: academic research and education at VU is characterized by a high level of ambition, and encourages free and open communications and ideas. VU stands for universal university values such as academic freedom and independence. The basic philosophy of VU is expressed in three core values: responsible, open and personally engaged.
In the framework of a broad academic development, the university saw the importance for students and employees, to get acquainted with art and cultur.



The VU Professors portraits collection is the oldest collection of the University (1880-present). The academic tradition of a portrait painted of important professors in their retirement, or special merits, is still alive. Jacques Grégoire (1961)made in 1998 a beautiful portrait of Prof. dr. G.J. van Ingen Schenau, the inventor of the Clap skate. Of course a University community follows also the contemporary trends. Now we have portrait photos of professors instead of paintings. Nowadays they are still in function, their portraits reflect the diversity at the VU and serve as role models for students.
The VU Art collection is an organic grown collection, which since 1967 has arisen through donation and purchase. Since 2006 the VU University decided to collect with a specific collection profile. The concept of Time images possesses the ability to add an extra dimension to the worldview and the academic education of students and employees. What is now current, is history at a certain moment. The idea Time images, reflects on the artist-concepts from the past, investigates their value for the present, and, as time goes by, the artworks become part of the academic and cultural heritage of the VU.
The collecting policy focuses on photography and sculpture. Recently, photographs of, amongst others, Jan Banning, Arthur Kleinjan, Bas Princen, Siebe Swart and Isabelle Wenzel have been purchased. They show how artists use content and form to express their reflections on the world in the 21st century. Art is an essential tool for the development of a critical awareness, as part of a broad academic education. The sculptures of Tom Claassen and Arjanne van der Spek possess a basic research mentality. A process in which whimsy and daring decisions play a crucial role, as they do in science.

Since 2013 VU Exposorium participates in the VU art and culture platform, with exhibitions and the two collections. This platform is a network organization, in which knowledge and expertise are bundled to support a broad-based arts and culture policy.
In this context, Exposorium initiates and realizes a proactive art policy, meant to be seen in the public space. It initiates also cooperative projects, such as art-commissions with other participants or external organizations. 

The VU University was founded in 1880 and has a respectable history. The university has had a special eye for the stimulating and special position that art can have in the academic world, ever since its establishment in Buitenveldert (1967)  The idea that a university forms a micro society, that reflects the developments in real society was a very fertile idea.  In 1967  the Exposorium comity was formed , with a command to establish a new art policy. Thus arose the VU Exposorium, responsible for programming series of exhibitions per year, the policy art purchases for the VU Art collection (at the time intended for the internal Art loan for employees) and the procurement policy in buildings and on the campus.

From the collection
Jan Banning

India Sushma Prasad, 2003
80 x 80 cm

Collections July 1, 2018
Annabel Howland
Collections February 17, 2018
Collections February 17, 2017
Verloren en zeldzame geuren
Vrije Universiteit
Collections January 27, 2016
Double Dutch
VU Expositieruimte
Collections May 26, 2014
Afscheidstentoonstelling Hendriekje Bosma
VU Kunstcollectie
Collections May 30, 2013
Martina Strusny - The Geography of the Imagination
VU Exposorium
Collections October 2, 2012
Geografie van de Verbeelding
van 2 oktober t/m 28 oktober 2012
Collections September 3, 2012
Hans van Koolwijk, Klanksculpturen Exposorium
van 3 september t/m 14 september 2012
In summary

Collection title
VU Art collection

Wende Wallert

Head office

Art collection locations
VU Art collection is to enjoy in the public space in VU buildings and on the VUcampus, Amsterdam Zuidas.

Number of art works
1.500, of which more than 250 make up the core collection.

Launch year

all disciplines

Focus of collection
Contemporary (inter)national art with an accent on Photography and Sculptures

Guided tours
On appointment: guided art tours in the main buildings and campus Amsterdam for a maximum of 15 persons. Durations: 1 hour; costs: € 90  


Art collection website

-Hendriekje Bosma/Ad Tervoort, Professors Portraits VUUniversity, 1880-2010, Amsterdam 2010
-Hendriekje Bosma/Yvonne van Ulden (Assistant), Exposorium 1967-2007, forty years art policy on the VU, Amsterdam 2007
-Hendriekje Bosma, Liseth van den Dungen, Helene of Fentener van Vlissingen (student assistants), Buitenveldert 1958-1998-2008, the development of a city part, Amsterdam 1998
-Hendriekje Bosma/Caroline Verbeek, Artists 'dreams, works on paper from the collection Benno Premsela/Friso Broeksma (Exposorium exhibition catalogue), Amsterdam 1997
-Bert Jansen, (editorial Fieke Konijn/John Vrieze), Art on Campus, the implementation of the 1% scheme at VU University Amsterdam , Amsterdam 1986

Exposition space
VU Exposorium initiates and organizes per year 5 temporary exhibitions of contemporary visual arts and related disciplines in the Exhibition space  in the main building. In addition, small presentations from the VU Art Collection in showcases can be seen. And short pungent guerrilla actions in collaboration with the VU writer on location and quirky artists. VU Exposorium, main building, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam open: Monday to Friday: 07: 00-23: 00; Saturday/Sunday: 10.00-18.00 (see for other buildings the VU website)

OPEN ZUIDAS, manifestation Amsterdam Zuid/Zuidas, open studios, open art collections and  art route, 25/26/27-10-2012 Life after planning, Visual identity Zuidas Amsterdam symposium, panel member debate, students: Free Spaces Zuidas AIR input VU: i.c.w. Sandberg Institute, Virtual Museum Zuidas Amsterdam, VU University, 01-03-2011. Art in public space,Symposium, with many artists, amongst them Vito Acconci and Jeroen Boomgaard, lector Public Space, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, VU University Amsterdam, 2006

Works on loan
Bas Princen, Cooling Plant Dubai, 2009, photo, 125 X 150 cm, ed. 1/6, "Rollercoaster, the image in the 21st century", Museum of the Image (MOTI), Breda, 2012