Digitisation of Modernist Archives

Early in 2020 the RKD started work on the digitisation of a unique collection of archives from the period 1910-1960. Known as the Modernist Archives, these are being digitised as part of the Metamorfoze project, which is the national programme for the preservation of paper heritage. 


The term Modernism refers to a range of movements that were active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Primitivism, Dadaism, Futurism, Neo-plasticism, Constructivism and Social Realism.

The archives concerned are those of leading innovative Dutch artists such as Paul Citroen, Nelly van Doesburg, Kees van Dongen, Leo Gestel, Bart van der Leck, Jan Sluijters and Charley Toorop. Also selected for digitisation are the archives of modern art collectors such as H.P. Bremmer, Pierre Alexandre Regnault and Sal Slijper, and of art historians such as Albert Plasschaert, Leo Braat and Bram Hammacher.

The archives selected give a good impression of the birth and development of modern art in the Netherlands, and the international trends that influenced it. Besides correspondence, the archives contain manuscripts for publications, diaries, journals, sketchbooks, reviews, exhibition catalogues, sales information, photos and teaching material. In future, the material from the Modernist Archives will be made available, for all, in the database at the RKD.


During digitisation work, no further loans can be requested from the following archives (at least until 2023): Chris Beekman, Leo Braat, H.P. Bremmer, Til Brugman, Paul Citroen, Nelly van Doesburg, Leo Gestel, Bram Hammacher, Léa Jacob, Bart van der Leck, Kees Maks, Albert Plasschaert, Alexandre Regnault, Lodewijk Schelfhout, Jan Sluijters, Sal Slijper, Charley Toorop / Edgar Fernhout, Erich Wichman and RKD-correspondence collection: letters from Kees van Dongen to Saint-Georges de Bouhélier.