“There is no single history of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, there are hundreds.”

Gerrit Rietveld Academie 1968–2018

& Sandberg Instituut 1990–2018


2 – 25 November 2018

Amsterdam, Fred Roeskestraat 96

In 2018, it is 50 years since Amsterdam’s School of Applied Arts (Kunstnijverheidsschool) was renamed in honour of Gerrit Rietveld. It is also 28 years since the Master’s programme at the Sandberg Instituut was established. Since 1968, around 10,000 students have graduated from the Rietveld Academie. Some alumni have gone on to become famous artists or designers and others have taken the knowledge and experience they acquired into employment in the cultural sector or outside it. Together, they form the history of the Rietveld Academie. 

To celebrate the anniversary the Rietveld Academie and the Sandberg Instituut organize a retrospective exhibition that will showcase one of the most unconventional and renowned art institutes in the Netherlands. The aim is to bring its history to a wide audience, to introduce people to the influence and heritage of the Rietveld Academie and to celebrate the achievements of its alumni. Because the new FedLev building will be used as the main venue, the exhibition will also mark the start of a new phase in the history of the Rietveld Academie.

Over the last year, curator and alumnus Moritz Küng (born 1961, Switzerland) has conducted an extensive survey among current and former lecturers and alumni, collecting information about remarkable initiatives, important events, varied alumni and unique publications and artworks. Based on this, Küng has developed an exhibition plan based on 18 capsules. Seven capsules will highlight the history of the Academie and six capsules will provide meta-perspectives on artistic themes in the work of alumni. The five other capsules will be outside the FedLev building and relate specifically to their locations on the campus. 

In total, more than 600 objects will be exhibited in the capsules. This will include 200 artefacts (sculptures, paintings, furniture, drawings, films, etc.), and 400 documents (books, magazines, maps, posters, letters, etc.). Each capsule will include a careful and challenging selection of works by artists and designers, with no distinction drawn between the famous or the unknown, the established or the up-and-coming, young or old, brilliant or unsettling. The artworks presented have been primarily selected based on their potential to create connections with the other objects exhibited.