In 2023 we start The Mondrian Initiative.
The largest of the three studios, considered the Theo Lohmann studio, also claims a noteworthy history. Lohmann bought it in 1924 from Jurriaan van der Vliet a Laren resident “ for amotion” to his plot at the Schapendrift. The plot was bought from Vera Gerson Lohman who had lived there all her life and who was then 92 years old. She remembered vividly how her father had acquired this studio from “..somewhere near the windmill in Laren… how it had been transported to its new
location about half a mile away and how concerned her father had been that no trees would be damaged during the placement. She was a little girl at the time.
The studio had come from Laren where it was situated amidst a group of several wooden studios at the Molenweg 297 right at the edge of the village. It emerged from Laren municipal archives that this was the studio of painter Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig. It most likely dates back to 1894 when Hart Nibbrig came to Laren, but the possibility remains that he moved into an already existing studio. P.H. van Moerkerken in his roman à clef “de Ondergang van het Dorp” gives us a fine description of the wooden studios built around 1880 by local carpenters for artists. Van Moerkerken’s description seems to refer directly to the Lohmann studio. This would make it the only remaining detached Laren studio from Mauve’s days. Hart Nibbrig spent most of his days from 1894 until his death in 1915 in Laren. He broke away from Mauve’s painting tradition – no sheep in moorlands or farmer’s wives with children, both very popular at the time. He put great effort into trying to catch the light and painted sun drenched scenes in bright vivid colours often in pointillist style. His portraits show weather beaten faces of Laren farmers and his great work De Erfgooiers full of rebellious farmers gave a far more realistic view of the harsh local circumstances than charming farmhouse interiors.
After Hart Nibbrig the studio was used from 1917-1922 by J.J.H. ‘Anna’ Sluijter – one of the first female artists to be considered a Luminist. Sluijter lived in the studio with her son Albert, at the time still a student, but praised at his passing as violinist and harpsichord builder. In all likelihood this studio was first located in the garden of Hart Nibbrig’s home at the Naarderstraat in Laren and was also moved by “amotion” to what was referred to at the time as “297” ( the 297th property in Laren). Research has shown 297 to have been situated at what is now Sint Jansstraat 34B in Laren. A creative neighbourhood at the time. The studio was situated amongst other studios and very close to the successful art gallery “Larensche Kunsthandel” run by Nico van Harpen. The next door boarding house run by English speaking widow Kam named the “Boarding House” was the place to stay for visiting foreign artists.
In 1931 Lohmann gets municipal permission to add a conservatory to the studio. According to family lore this sun lounge was originally attached to a villa in Baarn. Until his death in 1963 Theo Lohmann worked and lived in this studio and afterwards it was used by his daughter Vera.