The Centraal Museum in Utrecht has a Rietveld collection comprising some 300 objects, making it the largest collection of his work worldwide. Many of the objects were given to the museum by Rietveld himself on the occasion of his first retrospective show. Trained as a furniture maker, Gerrit Rietveld joined De Stijl in 1919 and eventually established himself as an independent architect. He translated the ideals of De Stijl into a spatial idiom that found its ultimate expression in the iconic Rietveld Schröderhuis, currently managed by the Centraal Museum. A beautiful selection of Rietveld's furniture is on permanent display in the house itself, and the whole collection, including Rietveld's archive, is accessible online on the Centraal Museum's website.
Other exponents of De Stijl are also represented at the Centraal Museum. One unique subcollection is that of Theo van Doesburg. Born Christian Emil Marie Küpper on 30 August 1883, he adopted the name of his stepfather, Theodorus Doesburg (who in fact raised him), early on in his career, later inserting ‘van’. Van Doesburg was an art critic, painter, poet, Dadaist performer and founder of De Stijl. The Centraal Museum has a collection of his drawings and designs on permanent loan.
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