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Armando Archive comes to the RKD

The Armando Foundation and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History are delighted that a substantial part of the archive of Armando (1929-2018) will be housed at the RKD. The 2.5 meters of archival material includes scrapbooks, notes, sketches, photographs and correspondence.


Armando’s legacy

Armando, who died in 2018 at the age of 88, was a versatile artist and a true multi talent. As heir to Armando’s entire artistic oeuvre, the Armando Foundation is not only responsible for his paintings and sculptures, but also for his literature, tv-programmes and music. This richly varied oeuvre can be regarded as a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, rooted in his experiences living close to Kamp Amersfoort during World War II. The legacy of Armando also comprises an extensive library, photographic documentation and his personal archive with scrapbooks, diaries, manuscripts, notebooks and sketches.

1. Photographer unknown, Armando, October 1969, collection RKD, Armando Archive
2. Notebooks of Armando, collection RKD, Armando Archive
3. Conny Meslier, Armando in Berlin, 1993, collection RKD, Armando Archive


Donation

It is the aim of the Armando Foundation to introduce the artist’s work to a wide audience and it is now donating part of Armando’s archive to the RKD, where it will be made available for further research. Another part – manuscripts, books and notes relating to Armando’s literature and poetry – went to the Literature Museum, which too is situated in The Hague. A collection of posters from the archive is adopted by the ReclameArsenaal.

Sigrid Bruijel, on behalf of the Armando Foundation: ‘We have proceeded with great care in handling the Armando legacy. Our first priority is keeping the memory of Armando and his Gesamtkunstwerk alive and passing it on to the public in a suitable way. Knowing that the RKD and the Literature Museum are the right places for Armando’s archive has given the foundation the reassurance it needs.’

Sigrid Bruijel, Ramses van Bragt of the RKD and Bertram Mourits of the Literature Museum talk about Armando and his archive in this film:


Further research

The many notebooks with preliminary sketches for paintings, sculptures and drawings offer more insight into the extensive oeuvre, as do the scrapbooks with correspondence, newspaper articles, snapshots and other documentation Armando himself compiled. The archive also includes ring binders filled with portrait photographs showing Armando through the years, pamphlets, notes of meetings and opening speeches for exhibitions. Through these the archive presents an overview starting with Armando’s Zero-period in the sixties until his final years.

Remarkable are the pictures Armando himself took of his surroundings or of objects he sometimes literally used for his paintings. The archive also contains a number of artworks made especially for Armando by befriended artists, such as Klaas Gubbels. At the beginning of this month, the archive was moved to the RKD in The Hague, where it will be recorded and further examined.

 

1. Identity passes of Armando from 1944, 1956 and 1957, collection RKD, Armando Archive
2. Cherry Duyns, Armando in his studio, 2005, collection RKD, Armando Archive
3. Klaas Gubbels, postcard to Armando, 18 September 2004, collection RKD, Armando Archive