Eva Rovers Eva Rovers

Eva Rovers

Eva Rovers (b. 1978) is a cultural historian with a PhD from the University of Groningen. Her biographies of art collector Helene Kröller-Müller and writer Boudewijn Büch received great critical acclaim. The Kröller-Müller-biography was awarded the prestigious National Biography Award. Together with filmmaker Leo de Boer, she produced a documentary film about Kröller-Müller’s turbulent life. Eva was guest editor for the Oxford Journal of the History of Collections, and editor of the Dutch journal Tijdschrift voor Biografie. Besides biographies Eva Rovers wrote various books on civil resistance and other ways individuals can change the world. Her philosophical essay Ik kom in opstand, dus wij zijn. Nieuw Licht op verzet (I Rebel – Therefor We Are. Casting a Different Light on Resistance) was shortlisted for the Socrates Award. With Practivisme. Een handboek voor heimelijke rebellen (Practivism. A Handbook for Closeted Rebels) she empowered many people who had never considered themselves to be rebels.

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Helene. The woman who turned Vincent into Van Gogh

The biography of a visionary woman who rejected the conventions of her time

An old metal chest filled with 3,400 letters sparked the search for the true story behind the world’s greatest Van Gogh collector, Helene Kröller-Müller. In 1911, a near death experience prompted Helene to devote the rest of her life to establishing a museum of modern art centered around the work of the work of then-unknown painter Vincent van Gogh. Although hardly anyone had ever heard of Van Gogh, let alone dared to buy his paintings, Helene was convinced that his work would change the course of art history. Regularly she bought several of his paintings at once and made sure they were shown to the public, either by exhibiting them in her own gallery or by sending them abroad. By challenging both the aesthetics and the gender roles of her time, she established Van Gogh’s reputation as a visionary artist and herself as a force to be reckoned with. However, the personal price she paid for her success was high

In this compelling biography, Eva Rovers reveals the forces that allowed Helene Kröller-Müller to shake up the male dominated art world of the early twentieth century. Despite fragile health, great personal tragedy, and a dwindling personal fortune Helene succeeded in opening the first large museum of modern art in Europe. To this day the Kröller-Müller Museum is world-famous for its varied collection of modern art, which includes paintings by Picasso, Mondrian, and over 300 works by Vincent van Gogh.