Dutch villa, which once housed nearly a thousand Van Gogh paintings, under threat of demolition
Villa Eikenhof (Oak Garden) in Bussum gave a boost to Van Gogh’s postomous career. It once housed ‘Sunflowers’, ‘Van Gogh’s bedroom’ and 20 other self portraits.
It was a wooden villa built for Jo Bonger, the widowed sister-law of the artist in 1901. It was the house where Jo Bonger and her new husband, Johan Cohen Gosschalk, an artist and critic lived along with Jo’s son Vincent Willem. The house was used to exhibit Van Gogh’s work and generate international interest.
Around 300 paintings and 500 drawings by Van Gogh were kept in the house, along with works by his contemporaries. Although some were hung, most were kept in a storage room on the ground floor and in the attic. It was from the Villa Eikenhof that Jo began to organise the 1905 Van Gogh retrospective exhibition at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, which remains the largest show on the artist ever held.
A Dutch heritage organisation called Heemschut is leading the campaign protesting its demolition and letters have already been written by directors of prominent museums: Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum and