The Foundation – history

Jacob en Willem DooyewaardThe Dooyewaard Foundation hopes to contribute to the Dutch art climate by creating a stimulating environment in Blaricum through prizes, stipends and temporary residencies in its six artists’ studios. In this way the foundation hopes to retain and extend one of Blaricum’s characteristics as a village of artists. This was the specific wish of its founders brothers painters Jacob (1876-1969) and Willem Dooyewaard (1892-1980). The foundation was set up in 1981, a year after Willem’s death, according to their explicit wishes and instructions. When Jacoba, Willem’s widow, died in 1995 the release of the brothers’ estate provided the initial capital for the foundation.

Independently – and also in cooperation with other foundations – the Dooyewaard foundation has acquired six artists’ studios, created a new artists’ colony, awarded residencies to mid-career artists and has awarded the Dooyewaard Stipendium to stimulate post academic talent since 1998. Some of the artists’ studios have noteworthy cultural and architectural histories and were used earlier by such artists as Piet Mondrian, Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig and Anna Sluijter. The foundation hopes to stimulate contemporary artists to reach the renowned level of their predecessors.

Jacob and Willem Dooyewaard had an age difference of 16 years and were completely different as individuals and as artists but were very affectionate brothers. Despite their different views they  both dedicated their lives to the art world and we gratefully acknowledge their generosity and providence to keep Blaricum alive as village of artists through their Dooyewaard Foundation. As Willem spent a great part of his life abroad he adapted his surname to Dooyewaard since the combination ij is incomprehensible and more importantly unpronounceable abroad. The brothers are now known as the Dooyewaard brothers.


Jacob Dooyewaard (1876-1969) was born in Amsterdam. His father was a house painter/decorator. Jacob’s talent revealed itself at an early age and he qualified as a drawing teacher. In his free hours he drew and painted beautiful portraits of his mother and sister, participated in exhibitions and had gallery representation. Because of his commercial success he was able to rent his own studio and then started his career as professional artist painter. He led a stormy bohemian life in Amsterdam with many artists friends. His work at the time – mainly still lives, interiors and cityscapes – was impressionistic and represents some of his best work.          In the early 1900’s he moves to the quiet village of Laren. The rural charm of this unspoilt village attracted a great number of artists at the time. Jacob painted mainly interiors and figures. In 1922 he moves to the nearby village of Blaricum, where, after a fire, he buys and rebuilds the large farmhouse style house named “De 7 Linden” at the Angerechtsweg. He settles there in 1933 and is joined there by his brother Willem two years later. The house had an indoor studio and a separate studio on the premises. Jaap, as his friends called him, was successful, sold well and travelled for his art work within and outside of Europe. At some point during those years he had met his dear friends the American couple, Anna and painter William Singer. He accompanied them often on their travels and stayed with them at their summer residence in Norway and after William had passed away Jaap remained a very dear and loyal friend to Anna. He must have had great influence in helping her initiate and set up the Singer Museum Laren. Well into old age Jacob remained very active in the art world and displayed an indomitable zest for his art work. His motto was “with great perseverance strive for perfection” and this can be applied to his entire oeuvre. He died at age 93 and his works are to be found in the collections of amongst others the Singer Museum Laren, the van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and the Gemeentemuseum The Hague.

Willem Dooyewaard (1892-1980), 16 year younger brother to painter Jacob Dooyewaard, was in many aspects his opposite. He was very adventurous and while drawing and painting he travelled the world from the Netherlands to the outer regions of practically inaccessible Mongolia and Tibet, visiting the Middle East, China, Japan and the Dutch Indies on the way. He gained a wealth of impressions during those travels. Anything that caught his eye he captured in a smooth impressionistic style and gradually he developed his own recognizable individual style. He had exhibitions in major cities abroad such as London, Brussels, New York, Berlin and Antwerp and several places in the Netherlands. Back in his home country he threw himself on a new subject, the ballet dancer, whom he portrayed in many different poses. However, he kept searching for light and so he left again for the south coast of France and Northern Africa to paint there. Eventually he returned for good to the Netherlands in1935 and settled in Blaricum with his Dutch wife Jacoba Reinders, who he had met in Kobe, Japan in 1930. They moved in with brother Jacob in “De 7 Linden”. He passed away in 1980 and was survived by Jacoba. When she died in 1995 the brothers’ estate was released to fund the Dooyewaard Stichting.


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