The life story of Helene Kröller-Müller, who bought Van Goghs like other women buy shoes and purses, engagingly told by her biographer and art historian Eva Rovers on the basis of Helene’s letters.

Helene Kröller-Müller (1869-1939) bought Van Goghs like other women buy shoes and purses. Where did the collector’s mania of this woman, who used to be the richest woman in the Netherlands, come from? Art historian and biographer Eva Rovers drew from the thousands of letters that Helene wrote to her lover Sam van Deventer, who was twenty years her junior. Her motivation was soon disclosed: ‘This museum was born out of grief’, Helene writes herself. After a religious crisis, she sought comfort in art.
Rovers takes us on a trip through Helene’s world and spirit. She visits her study and speaks with her granddaughter Hedwig and Helene’s daughter’s son-in-law. The relationship with Sam didn’t go down well with the children, they explain, although Anton Müller apparently didn’t mind. Helene made Van Gogh world-famous. The crisis forced her to transfer ownership of the collection to the Dutch state, who built the Kröller-Müller museum in return.


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Title: Helene - Een vrouw tussen liefde en kunst
Year: 2011
Duration : 52 minutes
Category: Short Documentary
Edition: NFF 2011

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