Dutch Museum Receives Historic Gift of over EUR100 Million

The Frans Hals Museum Receives a Historic Gift of Art Worth More Than EUR100 Million.

The official handover of the largest gift in recent Dutch museum history took place today in the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem (The Netherlands). The Elisabeth van Thueringen Fund is donating eleven works of art from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries to the City of Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum. Among the works there is a large and rare group portrait by Frans Hals. The total value of the gift is at least EUR100 million. The works can be seen in the exhibition ‘A Magnificent Gesture’ until 10 July.

The works, including the spectacular group portrait of the Regents of St Elisabeth’s Hospital by Frans Hals, have been hanging in the Frans Hals Museum for some time on loan from the Elisabeth van Thueringen Fund. Thanks to the extraordinarily generous gift from the Fund the most important works from this collection are now the property of the City of Haarlem and part of the museum’s collection. Director Karel Schampers of the Frans Hals Museum said, ‘A greater or more interesting gift is almost inconceivable – if for no other reason than that iconic group portraits like these by Hals are all in museum collections and will never come on to the market.’

Collected over Four Centuries
The collection was created four hundred years ago as the art collection of St Elisabeth’s Hospital (now the Kennemer Hospital). In 1977 the collected paintings and the historical objets d’art were placed in the Elisabeth van Thueringen Fund, which manages the collection. The Kennemer Hospital in Haarlem and Haarlem Local Authority are represented in this fund.

A Gift of EUR100 million
As well as the group portraits by Frans Hals and Johannes Verspronck, the gift includes two works by Maerten van Heemskerck, and paintings by Dirck Hals, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, Nicolaes Roosendaal, Adriaan Backer, Frans Decker and a follower of Joachim Patenier. The Elisabeth van Thueringen Fund has also donated a decorated charter box of St Elisabeth’s Hospital from around 1625.

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