For the museum building’s 25th anniversary, guest curator John Veldkamp decorates the Starck Pavilion with ceramic and glass objects from past eras and the present day. The exhibition illustrates the Groninger Museum’s collecting history while treating visitors to original combinations of splendid objects arranged in masterly still lifes.
Veldkamp owned the renowned design store John John’s, which operated for more than 30 years on Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat in Groningen. In the 1980s, he encouraged the Groninger Museum’s then director, Frans Haks, to start collecting contemporary design.
The still lifes below are inspired by the artwork ‘Marie Antoinette’ (3) by Erwin Olaf, which is part of his series ‘Royal Blood’. The first still life (left) is inspired by the name Royal Blood. The doll is holding a harakiri knife with an Imari handle. The plate on the right is called ‘milk and blood’ and all the objects are in the colour red. The second still life (right) is inspired by our own royal family: the House of Orange. The initials of our king are painted on the two plates and the little bowl is made out of silver Queen Elizabeth coins. In 1942 it was forbidden to use these silver coins, so people made these objects as a silent protest. This was a way of showing you were pro Dutch. As usually only items like spoons or brooches were made, the size of this object is very rare.