To this day the former Peter Stuyvesant Collection, in 1994 renamed the BAT Artventure Collection, is regarded as one of the most important, visionary and inspirational corporate art collections in history, having gained great fame both in the Netherlands and abroad. Force behind and founding father of the collection was the late Alexander Orlow (1918-2009).
The Peter Stuyvesant Collection is above all known for its revolutionary beginnings. Orlow, Director of Turmac Tobacco Company and an avid art collector himself, had been pondering over how to improve the monotonous working conditions in his cigarette factory in Zevenaar for some time. In 1960 he decided to adorn the large production halls with thirteen monumental paintings, to be hung above the machines. He invited thirteen artists from various European countries to create a painting, all themed "Joie de Vivre". Orlow aimed to enliven the drab, severe and functional environment and to break its monotony for the benefit of those who spent so many hours of their lives in that setting.
The criteria the artists had to meet were simple: each painting should be impressive in size, vivid in colour with powerful forms and always evident of quality. The concept of 'Art in the Factory' was born, an adventurous experiment that incorporated artistic elements in a social context. From the very beginning of the Collection in 1960 Orlow approached highly respected advisers in the museum world to be the guiding hand in the selection of what should be added to the collection.
This catalogue presents a selection of the works in a series of quite separate and individual collections made by one adviser after another, starting with twelve of the commissioned inaugural "Joie de Vivre" works. Each section is made all the more distinctive by the varying styles and influences during the period in which they were assembled: almost all the works were bought within a year of their being created. The advisers were consecutively Willem Sandberg (late 1950s-1965), Alexander Orlow (1965-1987, in collaboration with Herman Swart, Francois Mathey and Edy de Wilde), Renilde Hammacher - van den Brande (1978-1993), Wim Beeren (1993-2000) and Martijn Sanders (2001-2006).
The sale of the second selection of works from the collection now offers the opportunity for others to acquire and enjoy the works selected with such love and care over a period of nearly fifty years. The legacy of Alexander Orlow's 'Art in the Factory' will continue to live on in new combinations and create yet again new adventures in modern art.