Maybe something to laugh about

“The collected work of Peter van Straaten is an atlas of the human psyche.”

Professor of clinical psychology Willem van der Does

Five years after his death, it is time to reflect on the unrivalled talent of Peter van Straaten. Through his drawings and cartoons he held up a perfect mirror to society, with plenty of humour and an ability to put things in perspective. Eight guest curators, including Els Timmerman, Van Straaten’s widow, examine various aspects of his work in this exhibition.

Each of them delved into the collection and picked out those drawings that to them best represent the work of Peter van Straaten. On display are more than 100 drawings, complemented by books and objects from the archive.

Volkskrant culinary columnist and cookbook writer Yvette van Boven, professor of clinical psychology Willem van der Does, Parool columnist and writer Johan Fretz, comic writer and cartoonist Gerrit de Jager, NRC editor Saskia van Loenen, literary historian and gender specialist Maaike Meijer, illustrator and designer Floor Rieder, and visual artist Els Timmerman, the widow of Peter van Straaten.

Much of the work of Peter van Straaten, some 25,000 original drawings, was acquired after his death by the Allard Pierson – The Collections of the University of Amsterdam. They are now part of the cartoon collections, where they will be kept permanently for research purposes and public presentations.

This exhibition has been realized with the financial support of
Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. Acquisition and curation of the collection have been realized with a partial donation by the heirs, and financial support of Vereniging Rembrandt, Mondriaan Fund, Friends of the Allard Pierson, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds en Amsterdams Universiteitsfonds.