Visual art and cultural heritage: at one with society
The Mondriaan Fund is the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage in the Netherlands. It enables plans, projects and programmes of artists, exhibition makers and critics, museums and other art and heritage institutions, and publishers and commissioners.
All contributions reinforce the production or presentation of art and heritage from the Netherlands, both at home and abroad, where the market doesn’t do this (yet): precisely there, art and heritage prove themselves as valuable havens of the imagination. The fund stimulates the public commitment and the development of these havens.
The public investments through the Mondriaan Fund always yield an intellectual gain: cultural heritage and visual art are at one with society and put a face to our society. Precisely that great immaterial value is what the fund strives to highlight. We are therefore committed to visibility; to a public appropriate to the scale and nature of the institutions and artists.
What does the Mondriaan Fund contribute to? From heritage book to art acquisition
The Mondriaan Fund offers a range of possible grants. This may involve an artist who develops new work, or collaboration between museum and artist; a gallery that shows art from the Netherlands at an art fair abroad, or a curator who does research for an exhibition or publication. There are contributions to talent development and in-depth development of practice for artists, exhibition makers and critics. For museums and other art and heritage institutions, there are contributions to assignments, programming and collections.
But the fund is there for everyone: it brings art closer to home. Through the KunstKoop, individual persons can buy art in instalments at 120 galleries. The fund reimburses the interest. And literally everyone may function as commissioner and apply for a contribution of the fund for commissioning the creation of a new artwork, as long as it concerns an artwork that has quality and is publicly accessible. Thanks to such an incentive, already more than a hundred commissioners saw the beginning of new work.
Advocate and driving force: what else does the Mondriaan Fund do?
The fund also contributes to contacts between artists and the development of talent. Beginning artists can call upon experienced colleagues through mentoring. The fund organizes the Young Art Critic’s Award and the Prix de Rome: the oldest and most generous prize for beginning artists. Apart from a sum of money and a trip to Rome for the winner, this prize is an investment in talent development, through an awarded work period for all nominees, and finally a joint exhibition complete with publication.
Besides, the fund puts forward visual art at the annual starter’s exhibition Prospects, and it organizes the Dutch presentation at the Venice Biennale. In order to reinforce international exchange, an orientation journey takes place every year for exhibition makers, critics and artists. Foreign professionals, in turn, participate in the international visitors’ programme, where they get to know the art in the Netherlands.
Origins of the Mondriaan Fund – Dutch funds for ‘culture in an open society’
The Mondriaan Fund is the result of the merger on 31 December 2011 between the Mondriaan Foundation and the BKVB Fund. Since then, there is a single portal for individual applicants and for visual art and heritage institutions. It is now easier to apply together, for example as a museum and an artist. In this way, the production of art can be directly linked to its visibility at presentations in museums or at art fairs.
The Mondriaan Fund is one of six public culture funds in the Netherlands, alongside the Cultural Participation Fund, the Performing Arts Fund NL, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and the Creative Industries Fund NL. A large part of the state funding for arts and culture is invested with these funds, in addition to the basic infrastructure that falls under the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. With their substantive knowledge, the funds are expert operators, and, within their area, also important initiators and policy planners.