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Vera Radermaker


How did your career in the art world come about?

Both Jur Dekker and myself have been in love with beautiful objects since we were children: Jur's passion for collecting started at a young age and I was always busy with re-doing my room. Every once in a while, I moved all the furniture and rearranged it in a new way. All grown up, we started buying art deco furniture for our own home and in the late 90's our focus shifted towards midcentury design. We still have not grown tired of that style. We did branch out to another decade though: the eighties.

If you have to pick your favourite designer, artist or architect, who would that be?

We both are big admirors of the Brazilian architect and designer Oscar Niemeyer. That man had such a great sense of style..! That sense combined with his Brazilian schwung make his buildings and – rare – furniture items the absolute top. Also very beautiful and also from Brazil: Abraham Palatnik. We have an extensive collection of his animal figurines in our collection. In addition to Niemeyer and Palatnik, we have a whole list of designers we admire; ranging from Dieter Rams to Gae Aulenti and from Boris Tabacoff to Cini Boeri. Too many to choose!

Which museum has made a lasting impression?

Without a doubt Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, near Nice. We both love France and especially Provence. The fairytaile surroundings, the amazing architecture and the breathtaking art collection make us want to visit again and again. Closer to home, we enjoyed visiting the museum of Dirk Scheringa [Scheringa Museum voor Realisme]; we are big fans of magical realism in art.

What was the first piece you ever bought?

Our passion for collecting most likely started when we bought a lamp by Poul Henningsen, the Kontrast, at the Queen's Day market in Haarlem in the nineties. That lamp was so technically ingenious and it looked so incredibly beautiful over our dining table, that from that moment on everything had to meet those standards.

Why do you collect art and design?

First of all because we like it. You get to experience real joy if you are surrounded by items you value because of their beauty. Good design and good art has a soul: try finding that in cheap mass produced items. In addition to its beauty there is the financial aspect. When you buy a brand new chair at a big retailer, it most probably will have lost half its value by the time you leave the store. Good vintage will retain its value much better.

Tip for the first time buyer?

Focus on wat you really like: don't get carried away by trends or the taste of others, listen to your own. And always choose the best quality. You will get annoyed soon enough if your swivel chair doesn't turn swiftly or if the leather of your couch rips too easily. It often is cheaper to invest in the best quality, then having to pay full price for restaurations or replacements.