Kunstmuseum Den Haag acquires the plaster version that served as a model for Hans Arp's last stone sculpture

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Kunstmuseum Den Haag acquires the plaster version that served as a model for Hans Arp's last stone sculpture
Hans Arp, Scrutant l’horizon, made in 1964.

THE HAGUE.- It has graced The Hague’s Bezuidenhoutseweg since 1966: Hans Arp’s (1886-1966) four-metre tall sculpture Scrutant l’horizon, made in 1964. Few people know that this was the last stone sculpture Arp worked on before he died. In 1964 Kunstmuseum Den Haag acquired the plaster version that served as a model for the monumental sculpture. After his death Arp’s widow Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach asked the museum to have a number of bronze versions cast using the plaster model. The bronze sculptures went straight to private collections. Some fifty years on, one of those bronzes has finally found its way back to the museum. In a true connoisseur’s exhibition, Hans Arp – The Final Work, from 29 October 2022 to 16 April 2023 at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, will highlight the history of the sculpture and its special relationship with the museum.

Thanks to the diligence of the Municipal Committee for Art Commissions, in 1963 The Hague managed to secure a commitment from one of the most famous modern sculptors of the 20th century, Franco-German artist Hans Arp, to make a monumental sculpture for the city. It was Louis Wijsenbeek (1912-1985), then director of the museum, and adviser to the Committee, who approached Hans Arp about the commission. The artist agreed immediately.


Wijsenbeek and curator of modern art Jos de Gruyter visited Arp and his wife Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach at their summer home in Locarno, Switzerland. Using only descriptions and a few photographs of the proposed site on Bezuidenhoutseweg, Arp started designing a plaster model.

The city council covered a third of the cost of the model, which would be added to the sculpture collection at the Haags Gemeentemuseum (as Kunstmuseum Den Haag was known then). Arp would not usually sell his plaster sculptures, and this one was one of the first to join a museum collection.

The Municipal Committee for Art Commissions approved the design in 1964. Arp spent about a year working on the final sculpture in Egyptian porphyry, which was four times the size of the model. It was eventually installed on Bezuidenhoutseweg on 1 September 1966. Arp did not live to see this moment, as he had died three months earlier in Basel.


On 18 February 1967 the Haags Gemeentemuseum opened a major retrospective of the work of Hans Arp, featuring more than 150 pieces. In the years that followed the museum actively acquired several works by Arp, including Torso (1931), which Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach donated to the museum to mark the 1967 retrospective. In exchange for this generous donation, it was agreed that the museum would cast three bronzes from the plaster model of Scrutant l'horizon: two for Arp-Hagenbach’s collection and one for the museum.

The three bronzes were cast in 1970. As promised, two went to Arp-Hagenbach in Locarno and the museum sold the third to Brook Street Gallery in London. It used the proceeds to buy another piece for its Arp collection, Fleur Marteau (1916), from the artist’s widow. Both Torso and Fleur Marteau will be on display along with the various versions of Scrutant l’horizon in Hans Arp – The Final Work.

Artist’s copy

In August 2021 a fourth version of Scrutant l’horizon turned up ­– the artist’s copy, also known as Scrutant l’horizon 0/3 – when it was offered as a donation to the museum from the estate of deceased Dutch collector Jan Overbeke. Arp never mentioned his artist’s copies, but research has shown that they were originally intended for his private collection, or for donation to public collections. It was not common for them to be offered for sale.


The circle was complete when the piece was finally donated to the museum in October 2022, after a thorough investigation of its provenance. The bronze version of Scrutant l’horizon is ‘home’ once more, in the public setting for which it was intended and in the city for which it was made. All publicly accessible versions of Scrutant l'horizon – the plaster model, a bronze and the monumental porphyry sculpture – are now in The Hague, as Kunstmuseum Den Haag tells the story of Hans Arp’s final work on the basis of a small selection of his work and poems by the artist.

Satellite exhibit

Hans Arp – The Final Work can be regarded as a satellite exhibit to the exhibition of plaster models entitled Die Firma Arp. Formenkosmos und Atelierpraxis on show at the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus in Bremen from 6 November 2022 to 29 January 2023, created in collaboration with Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp. The exhibition at the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus will show all plaster models by Hans Arp in the foundation’s collection together for the first time. The exhibition here at Kunstmuseum Den Haag focuses on the story of one particular plaster model.

Today's News

November 15, 2022

'American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs' on view at the Dayton Art Institute

Pace presents Sonia Gomes's first-ever solo show in New York

"Aljoscha: Distant Posterity" opened at the Priska Pasquer Gallery

Castaway Modernism: Basel's acquisitions of "Degenerat" Art examined in new exhibition

First major UK exhibition devoted to women artists working in Germany in the early 20th century opens

Museum Kaap Skil unveils 17th century wedding dress from the world-famous Texel shipwreck

Kunstmuseum Den Haag acquires the plaster version that served as a model for Hans Arp's last stone sculpture

P·P·O·W to publish The Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné

Paul G. Allen and the art he didn't sell

Ishara Art Foundation presents the first solo exhibition of artist Navjot Altaf in the Arabian Peninsula

Sarah Ruhl and Rebecca Taichman on conjuring 'Becky Nurse of Salem'

Rachel Uffner presents group show "Encounter" and "Sacha Ingber: The difference between Right and Wrong"

American Beauty: Rock & Roll & Mid Century Auction at Rivich Auction

Natalie Christensen, Minimalism in Photography, The Original by publisher teNeues

Michael Simpson Paintings now on view at GIANT Gallery

Art tells New Jersey stories at Newark's new Terminal A

New Southern California exhibitions reveal riches of art and tradition

La Brea Tar Pits begins an unusual rebrand

The ceramics obsession has moved to our walls

'The Old Man & the Pool' review: Wading into Mike Birbiglia's comfort zone

A tenor's Met Opera debut, long delayed, is worth the wait

Lyon & Turnbull announces results of Design Season sales

Review: A dance for our times travels to a dark place

Longtime Philly Exec Director & Chief Curator to retire

Who needs a V part wig?

Effective Writing Tips for College Students

Is the Galaxy Quest movie a piece of art?

What is Escape From Tarkov Cheats

Understanding Different Types of Translation Services

4 Ways Artists Can Use Cannabis To Enhance Creativity

Online Slots - An Easy Way To Make Money From Home

Understanding Recycled Art

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful