10 October, 2016 – Today we as a group had our first meeting with Renée Steenbergen, PhD Art Historian from the University of Amsterdam. With being companied by our professor, Dr. Edward Akintola Hubbard as a mediator. We begin the meeting with discussing with Renee’s over her research in art philanthropy and patronage in the Dutch context. Particular she is interested in the research of private funding in the arts as the state begins to economize, -cut funding. In her latest research, De Nieuwe Mecenas, she is considering art philanthropy as a political instrument, foundational donating, and younger donor circles. Her recent work is grant sponsor by the University of Utrecht through the Give Culture a fellowship by the Foundation Sponsorship and The Prince Bernhard culture Fund until 2018.
We quickly shifted our discussion into of role of us as researchers and students in the context of Renee’s research project. Our group will be spilt between Karel and Adam, whom is to understand and interpret project literature, and Morgane and Iris, whom is to evaluate data sets and surveys. Much of the data is driven from various surveys from art institutions, big and small donors, donors which have stopped donating, and younger donor circles within the institutions. Our group seemed to arrive at a set of future tasks that both examine qualitative and quantitative data sets.
Our fist contact was really of introductions and discussing Renee’s research and how we as students could benefit and how she can benefit in our cooperation.
The take away question was, “Why should individuals, public or private sectors invest in the arts?” Renee’s very elegant response was of seeing art has “a basic human desire to create, and in that it is important to fund each generation to foster this mentality in the context of human cultural history”. Her response gave a very humbling humanistic face to art investment in the ever-growing current neoliberalizing global economy.