History, mission, vision

Art offers a view of the world and the times we live in. That is why Rabobank gives contemporary artists a platform in its art collection. The bank believes that art can be a source of knowledge for innovation and development. And, above all, a source of inspiration for members, customers, and employees.


The Rabo Art Collection offers a comprehensive overview of more than seventy years of Dutch art. All stages of the post-war period are represented with major works. The emphasis is on the art of the last twenty-five years. From the changeover to the new millennium, several major international names have also been part of the collection. Like the world it belongs to, art has shown significant and rapid changes after the Second World War. Each generation is faced with entirely new questions and challenges. The four stages in which the collection has been classified align with this.


1945 - 1960 Free expression

In the years after the war, freedom was the number one theme. All authority was questioned, and there was a sharp divide between right and wrong. The final breakthrough of modernism was accompanied by art that put the spontaneous gesture and the free outflow of feelings first. In the Netherlands, it was mainly the Cobra artists that set out a new course.


1960 - 1975 Power to the Imagination

Whereas the individual was put first after the war, the generation of the 1960s focused on the world. Everything would change, and the modern mass and consumption culture freed itself from the last remnants of the old order. Pop Art, minimal art, and conceptual art led the way in the exploration of a radically new consciousness.


1975 - 1990 Beyond Modernism

A period of progressive thinking and idealism was followed by disillusionment in the course of the 1970s. Consumerism and neoliberalism gave rise to an entirely new political and social climate. Postmodern art distanced itself from progressive thinking and focused on the research into a complex and layered reality.


1990 - today Contemporary art

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the arrival of the Internet have brought new fundamental changes from the early 1990s. Cultures blend, and art develops a great variety of forms and themes. In a world of crisis and confusion, many artists focus on a direct, intuitive experience of existence and use natural, traditional means to create a world of images that are drawn from experience.


Since 1995, we have nurtured the ambition to create a special art collection. The core of that collection, however, already dates from the early 1980s. In doing so, we work in close collaboration with artists. Together we select key works that signify a turning point in their oeuvre. Artworks that not only tell the story of the artist but also symbolize a period in art.

With a point of departure: More than images, we are building a top collection of contemporary art. We select the driving forces, the drivers of their time. The emphasis is on Dutch artists, but because of the international nature of Rabobank, the collection also comprises works by foreign artists.


Art inspires, reflects, and explores. It is the barometer of society and shows the times we live in. This is in line with a bank that is at the heart of society.

Rabobank chooses to provide ongoing structural support to the cultural climate by collecting, making art accessible, and encouraging talent. In doing so, they share in the responsibility for the cultural heritage of tomorrow and contributes to increasing art participation.