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The Confidant. Sam van Deventer, the Kröller-Müller couple and the Second World War

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Sam van Deventer (1888-1972) was the soulmate of Helene Kröller-Müller. The art collector, twenty years his senior, wrote him more than three thousand letters. He took the place of her own four children. She instilled in him a love of art, aesthetics and German culture, but in return demanded unconditional devotion. Businessman Anton Kröller also increasingly relied on Van Deventer in his financial shadow play, in which unwitting investors financed the construction of the ‘De Hoge Veluwe’ estate and the family business collapsed.

During the German occupation, Sam van Deventer was put in charge of the Kröller-Müller Museum and De Hoge Veluwe. He showed himself to be German-minded and opportunistic: Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart was allowed to celebrate his fiftieth birthday at the Sint Hubertus hunting lodge; Vincent van Gogh was promoted to the occupying forces; art was traded and stolen art was stored.

After the war Van Deventer paid a high price for his 'cultural collaboration', but his loyalty to the couple remained unbroken.

Following the biographies of Helene Kröller-Müller (2010) and Anton Kröller (2015), this book forms the capstone on the history of the Kröller-Müller Museum and ‘De Hoge Veluwe’ National Park.

 

Details

Bound | Dutch | 512 pages | 2024

Author: Ariëtte Dekker

Publisher: Prometheus

ISBN 9789044655360

Available from April 20, 2024

€45,00 Incl. tax
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