Ambassadors View Martijn & Jeannette Sanders

The collection of Martijn and Jeannette Sanders is one of the most significant private art collections in the Netherlands. For a long time, Jeannette worked in social psychiatry and Martijn was the director of the Concertgebouw for nearly 25 years. They got married in 1972 and immediately started collecting art. Their first purchase was a black and white computer work by Peter Struycken. The collection now includes works of art by icons including Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman and David Claerbout. They regularly loan their works to renowned museums and in 2014, a large part of the collection was on display in the exhibition 'BAD THOUGHTS' in the Stedelijk Museum.


Two works by Belgian artist Jan de Cock from 2005

“Being an art collector has become a way of life. You go to fairs, openings, galleries and visit many large cities. Collecting art is a form of escapism. Art is really important to us: we spend a lot of time and attention to it, surround ourselves with it and enjoy it quite a lot. We have become ambassadors of Young Collectors Circle because, as young collectors, we have always benefited enormously from older collectors and the knowledge, contacts and ideas they have shared with us. We would like to help the new generation in collecting art, to spark their interest. It is also nice to meet young, enthusiastic people who still have that obsession that we used to have.”

Being an art collector has become a way of life


“Buying art is of course pure greed. If you find something that really appeals to you, it gives you an enormous amount of satisfaction. It is difficult to say what it is in a work of art that attracts you. We like to get overwhelmed by a piece. We are always open to an element of surprise, because that is when you come across the most beautiful things. It is important that a new work also tells a new story.

You realise that you’ve become a true collector when your collection outgrows your home. Then the collection sets its own requirements that are no longer limited by the physical space. After that, the collection stands on its own. When we consider buying a new work, we often immediately see a place for it in our collection, where we will hang it is of future concern. We don’t hang too much in order not to clutter the walls. But we don't often exchange works of art. Once it’s hung and it pleases us, we tend to be very conservative, which means that it will often stay there. When a work is on loan, something else has to replace it quickly. The wall can’t really remain empty.

Collecting is a pleasant leap of faith

Because you live with the artwork, you get to know each work really well. Some of them lose their power, the longer you look at it, while others will always be fascinating. Some works lose their luster over the years, while others regain it after a while. However, you never know that in advance. It's a pleasant leap of faith really.”

Tips & Tricks

“Listen to the artist and follow the development of their careers. These days, it is difficult to make choices between what you like and what you don't like. There is so much art available and everyone is quite quick about it. What we always say to the people who want to collect is: just do it, follow your heart!”


Jeannette and Martijn Sanders in their Anton Henning salon

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