Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century

5 videos

In this series of five episodes, key figures in the art scene like Carel Blotkamp, Sanneke Huisman and Zoro Feigl talk about legendary past exhibitions. They shine their light on developments in art, and their significance when they were first exhibited. The exhibitions Moving Movement in the Stedelijk Museum (1961), the Mondrian exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum (1966) , Sonsbeek beyond law and order (1971) and some others will be addressed.

The exhibitions where ‘iconic’ in a way that the title immediately calls up an image, while there’s little known about the content of the exhibition. Why were those exhibitions controversial in their time and why are they determining for the future developments in the art? Art connoisseurs and artists Carel Blotkamp, Aukje Dekker, K. Schippers, Sanneke Huisman, Jan Bor, Zoro Feigl, Saskia Bos and Lily van Ginneken give their view on those questions.

The exhibitions shown in the series are cultural milestones. They have changed the view of those who visited the exhibition and determined the way we now see and think about art.

You can watch the trailer over here:



The sensational and controversial character of these exhibitions was covered in a variety of media such as art magazines, newspapers but also radio and television broadcasts that are rarely used and seen anymore.
These rich archival sources are now presented in the interactive video player and provide additional information and perspectives for lovers of art history. The series is an exciting and surprising journey through the rich collections of several cultural heritage collections, creating meaningful links between them. The unique audiovisual footage that was (re)discovered in the archives by editors of the series can now be made accessible to a large audience.

The series is developed by ARTtube in collaboration with the partners The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Videodock and DOOR, the cultural label of IN10.

Creator Els Hoek about the series:
“We did a lot of research for the series. With a list of potential ‘iconic exhibitions’, filmmaker Rosa Boesten, producer Margita van Vugt and I dove into the archive of the Instituut van Beeld en Geluid. We re-used existing footage in a new story. The enriched setting offers the chance to show more and longer fragments from the archive and to gather more precise information.


Mondrian, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 1966
Dalí, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam, 1970-1971 Moving Movement, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1961
Dylaby, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1962
The experimental group, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1949 Minimal Art, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 1968
Sonsbeek beyond law and order, Parc Sonsbeek Arnhem and other locations in the Netherlands, 1971
The luminous image, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1984
Talking Back To The Media, diverse locations in Amsterdam, 1985

The series ‘Iconic exhibtions in the 20th century’ and the interactive videoplayer are made possible by the Mondriaan Foundation, Fonds 21 and Creative Industries Fund NL.

5 episodes of Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century

  • THE LUMINOUS IMAGE – TALKING BACK TO THE MEDIA: the new media exhibition

    In this episode in the series ‘Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century’, art historian Sanneke Huisman provides some insight into the background to and developments in video art, whereby she draws a line from the start to now.

  • SONSBEEK ’71 BEYOND LAWN AND ORDER: the exhibition in public space

    In this episode of the series ‘Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century’, critic Lily van Ginneken, art historian Carel Blotkamp and curator Saskia Bos explain the meaning of ‘Sonsbeek ‘71 Beyond lawn and order’ and what it entailed.

  • COBRA – MINIMAL ART: introduction of a new movement

    In this episode of the series ‘Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century’, artist Aukje Dekker explains, with the use of archive images, the power of COBRA and minimal art.

  • MOVING MOVEMENT - DYLABY: the experimental exhibition

    What was actually on view in Moving Movement? And how did Dylaby distinguish itself from traditional exhibitions? In this episode of the series ‘Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century’, philosopher Jan Bor, art historian Carel Blotkamp, critic Lily van Ginneken and the artist Zoro Feigl take the viewer back in time to find the answers to the questions above in old television pictures.

  • MONDRIAN – DALÌ: the monographic exhibition

    In this episode of the series ‘Iconic exhibitions in the 20th century’, art historian Carel Blotkamp explains that Mondrian’s development was not as logical and self-evident as is generally suggested.