29 Mar - 30 Jun 2024Amsterdam Museum at the Amstel
The exhibition The Amsterdam of Piet van Eeghen opens on March 29, 2024. Without this nineteenth-century businessman and philanthropist, the city would have looked very different. As the founder of the Vondelpark and the Prinsengracht Hospital and through housing initiatives, he left his mark on the city.
Het Vondelpark Jacob Olie collectie Stadsarchief Amsterdam
Benefactor, art collector and banker
The Vondelpark, Prinsengracht Hospital, Rijk- and Stedelijk Museum: all come from the 19th century. As are the first social housing developments. All began as 'citizen initiatives'. Not founded by the city government, but by private individuals who arrange everything themselves and provide the financing. Behind the scenes of these projects is one central figure: the businessman Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen (1816-1889).
Together with his wife Cato Huidekoper, he is among the wealthiest Amsterdammers of his time. With all that money and his vast network, Van Eeghen played a crucial role in the modernization of Amsterdam, thanks to his successful civic initiatives.
Jozef Israëls, Kinderen der zee 1863, Amsterdam Museum.
Van Eeghen is also a great art lover. His house on the Herengracht is full of contemporary, romantic paintings. In addition, he has a unique collection of prints and drawings by Jan and Caspar Luyken (17th/18th century). After his death, he donated almost all of these works of art to the city. They now belong to the collection of the Amsterdam Museum such as the painting Kinderen der Zee by Jozef Israëls from 1863.
The exhibition reflects on Van Eeghen as an Amsterdam benefactor, art collector and banker. He made his money through colonial trade, among other things. What does that mean for our contemporary view of his philanthropic work? And what roles did women play in all his activities?
Van Eeghen heeft Amsterdam met behulp van zijn verenigingen blijvend veranderd, mits dit gebeurde onder zijn voorwaarden.”
Maren de Wit
Conservator Amsterdam Museum
Een van de belangrijkste Amsterdammers uit de 19e eeuw”
Laura van Hasselt
Piet van Eeghen verzamelde zijn schilderijen als moderne kunst. Modern is het al lang niet meer, en erg modieus ook niet, maar de hoge kwaliteit is nog altijd onbetwist.”
Tom van der Molen
Made possible in part by
The exhibition is made possible in part by Het Cultuurfonds, Catherina Halkes Fonds and Fundatie Van den Santheuvel, Sobbe.
The Amsterdam Museum is generously supported by the Municipality of Amsterdam (Main Benefactor), VriendenLoterij (Founder), and the ELJA Foundation (Main Partner for Education).