The Second World War at the Dutch Country House through the eyes of contemporary artists
What happened at Country Houses and Estates during the Second World War? They were sieged by the Germans, destroyed during the liberation, and used as hospitals or refuge; a diversity of stories. This underexposed topic has been thoroughly researched by Elyze Storms-Smeets and her team from Gelders Genootschap and the Dutch Castle Foundation in their project War in Arcadia (Dutch only). To share the information with a wider public, an art project has been initiated to share these diverse stories.
Key themes as war, peace and remembrance will be explored by contemporary artists. Aim of the project is to stimulate the dialogue with today’s visitors regarding the implications of the war on the people that lived on the estates. In several castles spread across the country artists will develop a new artwork based on archival material, oral history and collection objects. These artworks in a variety of disciplines will be presented in the summer of 2025, the year when The Netherlands commemorates 80 years of liberation after WWII.
Image 1: At the European border #6, Celine van den Boorn, 2021 Acrylic on photo, 60 x 90 cm.
Image 2: Tourists posing at the Menkemaborg around 1943, unknown photographer.