WUR art to be auctioned

A significant proportion of the paintings and other art owned by WUR is set to be auctioned. Staff and students will get precedence in purchasing the 204 artworks.
Photo: Guy Ackermans

This decision is based on a thorough cataloguing of the art currently owned by Wageningen University & Research. Q-Kunst, a firm specialized in companies’ management of their art, carried out the assessment. The firm was hired by the Art and Heritage committee set up by WUR last year, which is headed by library director Hubert Krekels.

The outdoor art was catalogued recently but there was no equivalent overview of the indoor art. The assessment also covered the value and present condition of the artworks. ‘They talked to the people who have artworks in their office,’ says committee member and Forum library curator Liesbeth Missel. ‘For example, is it really art? And does it belong to WUR?’

The cataloguing revealed 850 artworks, some of which had not been known about, while other works of art turned out to have disappeared. Krekels says about 600 of the 850 artworks can be kept. The rest will be disposed of because they have insufficient value or are not important enough to WUR. There is only one exception. ‘Everything that is currently on display in a building can stay there even if it is really a candidate for disposal as people often have an emotional attachment to an artwork.’

Most of the art that is being disposed of will be auctioned online (see inset). The proceeds from the auction will be used for the management and maintenance of the remaining art. The 204 works that will be auctioned can be viewed in the Museum Society’s Afstotingsdatabase (‘disposal database’) until 25 November. Art owned by public institutions has to be registered in that database as part of the disposal procedure.

The Nijmegen firm Veilet is organizing the online auction of WUR artworks. The auction for staff and students will start on Sunday 8 December at 12:00 and will close exactly one week later. The works can be viewed online from 12:00 Sunday 1 December using the link https://wur.veilingenvankunst.nl/alle-veilingen. After the auction closes, the works will go to the highest bidder. After the buyer has paid, they can collect the work in early January from Wageningen or Nijmegen. 

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