The Ambassade Hotel on the canal named Herengracht in Amsterdam has, for many years now, housed a large collection of art. Hotelier and art collector Wouter Schopman is particularly passionate about the CoBrA art movement and down the years he has built up a collection of hundreds of works of art belonging to this renowned movement.
Esther Schreuder, an art historian, heard about this and, one day, she decided to visit the Ambassade Hotel and take a look. What she found was, indeed, a special collection that included some of the lesser well-known works by Theo Wolvecamp, Corneille, Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, Anton Rooskens, Lucebert, Hugo Claus, and Mogens Balle to name just a few.
A collection by an art collector reveals a personal vision. A passionate art collector sees other things in the artworks than a curator in a museum. This is one of the reasons why this collection shows ‘new’ avenues of Cobra that differ from historiography and the interpretations in standard art history books.
Following a discussion with Wouter Schopman, a decision was taken to make a written description of the collection. It would emphasise what the artists had said about themselves and about each other. The aim was to sketch their characters as well as possible, and to hear what they said about their own visions in their own words.