Ambassadors View Babette Claassen

Babette Claassen started her art consultancy in 2019. She advises and assists private art collectors and companies when it comes to the purchase and sale of art. She specialises in 19th and 20th century art and this is reflected in her own collection as well. Babette lives with her partner Thomas in Oegstgeest and since the beginning of this year, she's started working from the Mariënhaven complex in Warmond, a former seminary building. Her art collection is located both at home and in her private art-viewing space.


Artworks from left to right: Leo de Winter (1917-1983), Hobbe Smith (1862-1942), Frits Goossen (1943) en Willem Noordijk (1887-1970)

“The entrepreneurship is in my blood: I come from an entrepreneurial family in the metalware industry, but I knew from an early age that I was going to do something with art. I liked going to museums and I was always involved with art. I studied art history, the best study there is! But that entrepreneurial spirit has always stayed in me, so starting my own business seemed like a logical next step. The best thing about consultancy is being in contact with people, that makes my day-to-day very diverse.

For me, art is everywhere. When I’m not taking in the art through my job, I enjoy it on the wall at my home. My spare time is equally loaded with art and I like to visit museums. I became an ambassador of Young Collectors Circle because I wanted to promote the notion that people my age (mid-twenties) are in fact able to buy art. I think it is important that young people are encouraged in this. Especially now, it is important to support the cultural sector.

I think it is important that young people are encouraged to buy art, especially now

The collection

I started buying art when I was still a student. During an auction, I dared to take the first step. There’s a rush coursing through your veins when you buy a work of art. When you head to the auction with a certain budget in mind, that can be quite difficult. There is a certain tension as well: does the work truly move you, or doesn’t it? Once it gets you, you bid again. And again. And if you win the auction, it'll hang on the wall in no time, then it’s yours.

There is no specific common theme in my collection, but because I am an art historian and focus on art from the 19th and 20th centuries, I tend to lean a lot towards that period in my purchases as well. I have to like it and it has to appeal to me. I also value a story behind it. I like to present my works eclectically; it is so nice to combine classic art with a modern interior. My boyfriend and I possess older art and antique clocks, but we also like to buy beautiful photography. I definitely feel that they can be a good match.

There’s a rush coursing through your veins when you buy a work of art

All of my works are among my favourites, but at the moment, there's a small panel by Willem Noordijk that really appeals to me. Additionally, I truly feel a bond with a print by Théodore Géricault. It was one of my very first purchases. My goal is to build a sizable and high-quality art collection. If at some point, I own some beautiful objects by famous artists, I would feel that it’s important to share them, by loaning or donating them to museums. That's why I like my job so much, you can make someone happy with a beautiful work of art.

Tips & Tricks

Don't be put off. Good art doesn't necessarily have to be very expensive. That's a misconception that many people have about art. That is why people often perceive a threshold when it comes to entering these spaces. Dare yourself to go to an art fair or a viewing day of an auction house. You don't have to buy something right away, but you can still learn a lot from it. This way, you will also learn more about what suits you, effectively shaping your tastes. As long as it makes you happy! I think in the end, that's the most important thing.”

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