Ambassadors View Ger van Dam en Wilma Kuiper

Ger van Dam (former employment expert UWV) and Wilma Kuiper (remedial educationalist) got to know each other during a street barbecue in June 1999. When neighbours were invited to take a look at Ger's newly furnished house, Wilma was immediately impressed. From the bedroom to the toilet - his home was literally filled to the brim with art. Some windows even lost their function because of the paintings that were placed in front of it. Her love for both Ger and collecting art started when Wilma asked him to help her furnish her renovated house (at a 100 meters distance) after her divorce in 2006. Now, every square meter in her house is filled with art art as well.


Artworks from left to right: Martijn Schuppers en Jan Maarten Voskuil

Ger: “My love for art started by coincidence. In 1972, I worked at a company near the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. My colleague was interested in art and design, so we decided to stop by the museum, every day during our lunch break. The museum was accessible for free at that time. In the beginning, I knew nothing about art, but I soon realised that I loved exploring the museum and that I would also like to own a work of art for myself. I timidly started out, buying a screen print first. Soon after that, a litho and another etching. The collection slowly took shape when I bought my first sculpture and a painting. Things quickly got out of hand and now, 48 years later, the collection consists of approximately 440 works. We also donated 86 works to various museums, including the Boijmans. Things came full circle, which is fantastic.”

Art is a necessity of life, it keeps us going.

Wilma: “15 years ago, I had little experience in the art world. Occasionally, I would go to a museum, but that was about it. Ger would immediately take me to the most prestigious places and fairs - it was like a mecca. I had not really developed my own taste just yet, but I immediately approached the same things that Ger also loved. He would say, "Gosh, it took me 20 years to find that out." We share a similar taste and have often played games. For instance, we would go our separate ways during a museum or fair visit and afterwards, we would discuss our favourites over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. It turned out that we often liked the same things."

Ger & Wilma: “We have become ambassadors because Young Collectors Circle functions as a kind of pressure cooker, in which young people are inspired, enthused and introduced to the device that is art. We try to get young people passionate about collecting art and hope that they might get a little inspiration from our collection. We noticed how looking at other collectors challenges you to think bigger, to be more daring and to push your own boundaries. ”


You know you want to buy a work of art when it seems to comes to you by itself.

“Art plays an incredibly important role in our lives. It is a necessity of life, it keeps you going: literally and figuratively. In recent years, we have increasingly focused on very young talents. Young artists who are still at the beginning of their career and of still hold that element of surprise: you have absolutely no idea what steps they are going to take in the future. The great thing about that is that you really have to see it with your own eyes. The graduation shows of art academies offer a beautiful site for exploration. You can discover gems here and support the emerging artists by buying a work. It is also nice to be able to follow the career of the artist, to see where they are going.

You know you want to buy a work of art when it seems to comes to you by itself. That little jump in your heart when you look at a work of art, that’s what wins you over. It's hard to explain: it's the feeling of euphoria, of “wow"! Recently, we bought a beautiful installation by Martijn Schuppers. Afterwards we sat on the couch together and said, "Now we have everything we could ever wish for, right? We can just stop collecting art.” Of course, we have bought a number of new works since. Us stopping is really never going to happen.

Collecting has become a life adventure.

Collecting has become a life adventure. We have invested every euro in art with dedication and passion. Yes, it costs an insane amount of money but it also offers us a lot of fun. It is great that you are able to advance an artist’s career. By donating works to museums, you create the opportunity to reach a larger audience and you get to contribute to the development of an artist. Those are things you would of course never have thought of in advance. That is the adventure that is called collecting art.”


“Collect in your own way and be daring! Feel free to go outside of your comfort zone. This applies to formats, images and various media. Try to amaze and challenge yourself. In a gallery, take a look at a work that you would never choose at first and enter into a conversation with the gallery owner or the artist. Try to invest in relationships with your favorite artists. Learn how they work and what steps they take. The development of the artist is so much more fun than just buying a work of art. The stories behind it make it more fun and interesting. Turn it into your own personal adventure.”

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