Sustainability and quality of life

Supporting art and culture

About the DSM Art Collection

At DSM, we promote art in a number of ways: for example through with art purchases for our collection, by organizing art exhibitions at DSM’s head office, sponsoring art prizes and temporary loans of works to galleries and museums.

Why?

A positive, attractive and inspiring work environment

Using its own art collection, DSM is keen to begin a dialog with its surroundings. Our social commitment dates back more than one hundred years, with the purchasing, maintenance, and management of the collection. DSM also uses art as a way to improve the quality of life and to create a positive, attractive, and inspiring work environment for its employees and bridge the gap with our stakeholders.

Ridiculous, foolish and obscene. Or bold, cheerful and humorous?

The work of the Maastricht-based sculptor Han van Wetering for example. He calls his cheery, colorful sculptures as a ‘strange ensemble’. The sculptures have created quite a stir at DSM. Ridiculous, foolish and obscene. Or bold, cheerful and full of humor?

This is exactly what we want: art that gets people talking rocks the boat and leads to discussion and, above all, dialog. We challenge our employees to be creative, innovative, and to think outside the box.

Even more important, however, is that we are placing sustainability right at the heart of our DSM Art Collection, just like all our business activities. Sustainability is a broad concept. As well as its meaning in relation to ecology and the economy, it also covers the social and cultural aspects of society as a whole, of which DSM is a part and to which it feels responsible.

How?

At DSM, we, therefore, promote art in a number of ways: for example through our partnership with the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. The Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art (BACA), which is awarded every two years and is sponsored by DSM consists of a publication and a solo exhibition in the Bonnefanten Museum. In 2018, Lebanese artist Marwan Rechmaoui was awarded this prestigious international prize for visual art in the Netherlands for his installation art and relief art, which depicts subjects such as urbanization and modern social and behavioral relationships.

Policy and administration

Since 1985 DSM Art Collection’s policy has been determined by an internal art committee. Since 2003, this committee has included a curator and art historian. Working alongside the art committee, this person takes care of the procurement policy and administration of the corporate collection, which includes around seven hundred works of art created by over four hundred artists from the Netherlands and elsewhere. 

The works are now displayed at DSM’s head office in Heerlen in Limburg. Annual acquisitions are paid for by exhibiting the works. This means that the artists included in the collection always exhibit their works in the head office. This enables everyone to become familiar with their work and to also see it in a broader context. These exhibitions are held around six times a year during office hours and are open to the public.

Netherlands Association of Corporate Art Collections (VBCN)

DSM is a member of the VBCN, an independent, non-profit knowledge network for Dutch companies and public and semi-public institutions with a policy of building art collections. Its members bring a large and diverse audience in contact with art and forge new connections between art and society. This makes the VBCN a distinctive player in the world of culture.

The VBCN creates dialogue with representatives from the cultural field, such as the museum, commercial or alternative circuit (artists' initiatives). When it was founded in 2005, the VBCN chose the words "dynamic", "independent", "cross-border" and  “stimulating" as core values.

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  • Exhibitions

    DSM's offices in Heerlen and Sittard-Geleen (NL) regularly host exhibitions of contemporary art open to the general public.

  • Collection

    The DSM Art Collection currently includes more than 750 works by around 400 artists. Here's a small selection from the core collection.

  • DSM Nederland

    DSM Nederland B.V. is de regio-organisatie en dochter van Koninklijke DSM N.V., met een aantal ondersteunende taken voor de bedrijfsactiviteiten van DSM in Nederland.

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