De nieuwe gids and its Informal Patronage System

  • Helleke Van den Braber Radboud University Nijmegen

Abstract

This paper focuses on the funding and finances of De nieuwe gids, a late nineteenth-century periodical believed by many to be the archetypical Dutch cultural magazine. The editors of De nieuwe gids introduced new ways of running their business and had new ideas about their role as professional writers and painters, about the pitfalls of creating for money, and about the relationship between art and finance. The paper argues that they alleviated their uneasy relationship with money through different forms of patronage. The editors acquired a substantial capital from a consortium of eleven backers, and used this money for the continuation of the magazine as well as for the upkeep of those members of their group who had no other resources. They made sure that money was circulated and transferred in such a way that all members profited: artists without money could keep on writing and painting, and artists who did have money invested in the continuity of the group as a whole and in their own place within it. This patronage system was remarkably successful, probably because it did not affect the artistic prestige or credibility of the editors, nor of the benefactors involved.

Author Biography

Helleke Van den Braber, Radboud University Nijmegen

Helleke Van den Braber is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen, and wrote her dissertation (2002) on early-twentieth-century forms of patronage in the Dutch art world. She has published widely (mostly in Dutch) on the history and theory of patronage, on collecting and collectors, and on forms of strategic giving.

Published
2016-07-05
Section
Special Issue