LL.M. E.L.L. de Wilde’s Wishlist - Director 1946 - 1963

Kokoschka Macht der Musik

LL.M. E.L.L. de Wilde’s Wishlist Director 1946 - 1963

25/01/2013 - 05/05/2013

De Wilde’s 1949 schedule looks like a wish list, but was used as a tool to reveal the developments in modern art and in this way initiate the town council into the first starting points of his future collection. This schedule was accompanied by a now famous speech which he gave to the town council on 23 February 1949. The speech had a political aim: to convince them that the museum’s new position required a new policy and financial contributions. In the next speech in 1951 De Wilde went further and argued for the internationalisation of the collection for choosing expressionism as a specialist area. In this speech he also demonstrated this with the use of a schedule.

De Wilde characterised the period that he worked in Eindhoven – a period of reconstruction – as a time of optimism, vitality and adventure. The great artists from the first half of our century – the classical modernists – were still active, while young artists – the contemporary avant-garde – were developing. De Wilde was able to achieve part of his wish list in his so-called “basic collection”. This contains a respectable number of high quality classical modern masterworks, including paintings by Picasso, Delaunay, Mondriaan and Kokoschka. Just as the outlines of the basic collection were revealed, De Wilde focused his attention on a transitional group between the basic collection and contemporary art, including works by Léger, Beckmann, Miró and Ernst.