On Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, the 2017 Turing Award was presented for the most exceptional exhibition concept 2018-2020. Museum Flehite and Kunsthal KAdE earned an honorable place in the top three in the small to medium-sized museum category with the joint plan for Caspar van Wittel "The Discovery of a Dutch Master in Italy.
From the judges' report:
"Kunsthal KAdE and Museum Flehite have come up with a clever proposal to jointly present a retrospective of the relatively unknown Dutch master Casper van Wittel, who traveled to Rome around the age of 20 and created a furor there from 1675 under the name Gaspare Vanvitelli. Van Wittel is said by some to be the founder of vedutism. Where Italians at the time embellished their cityscapes with a cupid party or a Fellini-worthy bacchanal, Van Wittel showed Venice as it "was," or well, at least without fairy tale creatures. A down-to-earth Dutchman in Italy, so to speak.
Beautiful, extraordinary, rarely-to-never-seen work is being brought to Amersfoort - Wittel's birthplace - for the first-ever retrospective on this 17th-century painter. An exhibition that shows both the Dutch context in which he came to maturity and the influence he had on famous vedutists such as Canaletto and Bellotto."
It is common knowledge of Piet Mondrian that he was born in Amersfoort. Far fewer people know that Amersfoort produced a second famous artist: Caspar van Wittel (1653-1736). He was a celebrated artist in Italy, but remained unknown in his own country. The joint museums in his hometown of Amersfoort, Museum Flehite and Kunsthal KAdE, are enthusiastically taking on the task of giving Caspar van Wittel the fame in the Netherlands as well that his impressive, high-quality oeuvre justifies.
In spring 2019, Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort will exhibit about 40 paintings and 15 drawings by Van Wittel, along with paintings by Dutch precursors and Italian imitators. In parallel, an exhibition at Museum Flehite will feature work by contemporary Dutch vedutists, photographers, painters and draftsmen.
The Turing Award is a biennial private art award for the most exceptional exhibition concept of museum in the Netherlands. With this award, the Turing Foundation wants to help museums raise their international level of ambition and provide the decisive contribution to an exceptional exhibition in the field of ancient, modern or contemporary visual art at an early stage. Since 2015, in addition to the Turing Grant I of €500,000 for large museums, the Turing Grant II of €150,000 for small and medium-sized museums is also awarded.
For the period 2018-2020, no fewer than 31 museums competed for the art award, of which 19 were in the large museum category and 12 in the small to medium museum category. The Award was presented at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden. The winning plan in the category small to medium museums was Zadkine by the Sea of Museum Beelden aan Zee. Foam Museum Amsterdam was also in the top three with its exhibition plan for Negative Beauty.
Thanks to the Turing Grant, the Turing Foundation of founders Pieter and Françoise Geelen has become an even more important patron of museums in the Netherlands. The foundation often acts as a flywheel for funding, being involved by museums in ideas for exhibitions at a very early stage, often the first.