RKD Netherland Institute for art History
Until now, the role of female collectors, artists, curators, art historians and other art mediators has been greatly overlooked, especially when compared to their male colleagues. The collaborative project The other half. The share of women in the Dutch art world 1780-1980 was set up to change that. Within this project, the RKD investigates the role of women in the art world. The new series of the podcast Kroniek Kunstgeschiedenis on women collectors in art 1780-1980 is part of this research and was created with the support of the Wilhelmina Drucker Fundatie.
The first female artist and collector to be featured in this new series is Margaretha Cornelia Boellaard. She was born in Utrecht and she would live in her beloved city all her life. Although Boellaard received many drawing lessons in her childhood and she was a skilled artist, she was referred to – by personal preference – primarily as an art lover. In her own writings, she recounts that she was involved in art from an early age and loved to 'spill colours'. She came from a prominent family, which gave her the means to build an extensive art collection later in life.
Within the Utrecht art world, Boellaard was tremendously well known and she had a large network. She was a member of Genootschap Kunstliefde, an association of art lovers that held art discourses. When female participants were finally allowed at these discussions in 1848, Margaretha Cornelia immediately joined in. This shows that Boellaard had a huge urge to share her love of art and also to collect and dissect extraordinary art objects. Was her art collection composed differently from that of her male contemporaries? For her master's thesis, Anne Linde Ruiter delved fully into the life and work of Margaretha Cornelia Boellaard. In the new podcast episode, which can be listened to in places such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts, she tells all about her research into this Utrecht collector and the ways in which her love of art was expressed.