Purchasing work from young, beginning artists has resulted in an adventurous collection of about 650 works of art. Over the years, a number of artists have made a name for themselves, and the collection contains renowned artists such as Andriesse, Appel, Corneille, Lucebert, Armando, Dekkers, Schoonhoven, Gubbels, Lichtenstein, Ayres and Wolkers. The collection also consists of work from newer artists such as John Cees Smit, Annemiek Vera, Dorine van Delft, Iris Frederix and RaQuel van Haver. The works of art are displayed in Sanquin's offices and public spaces: a truly inspiring work environment.
The art committee of Sanquin manages the collection and supervises additions to it.
Fifty years ago, Professor Joghem van Loghem, who was the first scientific director of the Central Laboratory of the Blood Transfusion Service of the Netherlands Red Cross (CLB), laid the foundations for this unique art collection. Van Loghem reasoned that (young) scientists would be inspired to think in more creative ways, once innovative art, made by young artists, was introduced into the institute. A creative mix of art and science would challenge scientists to broaden their thinking.
The works of art that started the collection in 1959 were a bronze sculpture by Jan Wolkers entitled "Moeder met Kind" (Mother and Child), and a painting, "Le chant des îles" by Corneille. In the early eighties, after Van Loghem had retired, a committee was appointed by him to manage the collection.
Sanquin in Amsterdam has been organizing monthly exhibitions since 1985. Over the past 25 years, many artists have had the opportunity to show their work to the public in solo-exhibitions in Galerie Joghem. For many artists, this was their first time, and for some it resulted in a breakthrough in their career. The collection has expanded principally with works of art from artists who have exhibited in Galerie Joghem.