Johannes Rump - a Passionate Art-Collector
Engineer, politician and art-collector Johannes Rump donated his collection of works by André Derain to Statens Museum for Kunst in 1928. This generous gift constitutes the major part of the Museum’s large collection of Derain’s works.
A sensational collection
Johannes Rump was one of the great collectors of his day. He donated gifts of art several times to Statens Museum for Kunst. His donation in 1928 of the great collection of modern French art meant that the Museum could throw open its doors to the public in March, 1929, and reveal a sensational collection, which still puts the Museum on the international map as regards artists like André Derain, Henri Matisse and Fauvism.
At the start of 1923, Rump offered his collection of modern French art to Statens Museum for Kunst. However, Karl Madsen, the director of the Museum, was not fully convinced of the quality of Rump’s collection of the time and thus turned the offer down.
Rump’s ambitions were piqued by the refusal. He wanted his collection of International Modernism to be irresistible to the Museum, so he travelled to Paris to purchase art. He took with him Leo Swane, the museum’s inspector and expert on contemporary international art. It turned out to be a particularly fortuitous moment…..
Art as a security for war damages
During the First World War, the French State confiscated all German property on French soil, including the stock of art belonging to Henry Kahnweiler, Derain’s art-dealer. After the war, France had the right, according to the Treaty of Versailles, to sell confiscated material as a security for war reparations.
Despite protests, Kahnweiler’s stock was sold at four auctions. Among it were 113 paintings by Derain.
At the right place at the right time
Johannes Rump and Leo Swane bought at the fourth and final auction-sale. There are indications that the market was satiated with modern art, so they were able to purchase eight paintings and five drawings by Derain at a very low price. Among the works acquired was the major painting Woman in a Chemise.
Buying Derain's works in the 1920s meant purchasing a very ‘safe’ name, but the colourful Woman in a Chemise was stylistically already a little out-dated. Rump later bought several works by Derain from private galleries and at auction and the collection came to consist of 26 works in all.
Also Matisse, Braque, Rouault and many more…..
Before Rump donated his collection to Statens Museum for Kunst, he had, however, also purchased works by other French artists. This involved - among others - 16 paintings by Matisse and groups of works by Braque and Rouault, and single works by Soutine and Modigliani.
A fantastic gift
On December 22, 1927, the new director of the Museum, Gustav Falck, received the letter of donation of Engineer J. Rump’s collection of modern French art to Statens Museum for Kunst. The gift consisted of 101 paintings, 20 sculptures, 7 ceramic works, 107 drawings, as well as 15 watercolours and pastels and an artist’s proof
More works were acquired
After the collection had been transferred to Statens Museum for Kunst, Rump continued to donate works to the Museum until 1930. In addition, Elisabeth and Johannes Rump established a foundation to ensure the continued enhancement of the collection of international contemporary art. Grants from this foundation enabled several important purchases. Henri Matisse’s Zulma, purchased in 1950, was among these. The foundation is still in existence and makes further individual purchases possible.