Launch of online knowledge hub on Patronage Studies

Scientific research on giving and receiving in the arts now gathered in a central location

Illustratief beeld: fotocollage over mecenaat, samengesteld uit verschillende kunstvormen.
Image: Didi van Zoeren

There is plenty of research at Dutch universities on patronage: giving and receiving in the arts. For the first time the research conducted by Dutch scholars on this patronage is collected in a convenient and accessible way in one online location: the Kennispunt Mecenaatstudies or 'Knowledge Hub Patronage Studies', which is being launched June 21.

Giving and receiving in the arts

Makers and organisations turn to donors, 'friends' and benefactors. This exchange with givers provides them with not only money and other resources, but also moral support, support base, legitimisation and inspiration.

The website is intended for researchers, makers, cultural institutions, policymakers, journalists, students and others interested in giving to the arts and culture. The website provides an easily accessible way to learn about current academic research on all aspects of patronage. One of the components of the Kennispunt is the 'knowledge databank', where publications on patronage are collected.

prof. dr. Helleke van den Braber
Prof. dr. Helleke van den Braber, photographer: Emil Cobussen

The initiator is the Chair in Patronage Studies, based at Utrecht University. Professor Helleke van den Braber: “The scientific knowledge we have collected gives guidance to anyone interested in the contribution cultural patrons can make to the thriving of the arts.

More insight into how patronage works, means more understanding of the ups and downs in the relationship between art and society. In this way, the Knowledge Hub contributes to a more resilient cultural sector and a more considered cultural policy.”

Currently, there are already 133 studies on the Knowledge Hub, 107 of which are directly open access consultable. The studies highlight relationships between patrons and givers across the cultural field: from patronage around poetry in the seventeenth century to giving relationships in contemporary pop music and museums of modern art.

An inclusive science

The Knowledge Hub is continuously updated with the latest publications. Blogs are also regularly published about these publications. This makes current scientific knowledge about patronage accessible to all interested parties. The website also provides a forum for relevant master's theses written on the theme at Dutch universities. This contributes to an inclusive science, in which the work of students and junior researchers is also given full consideration.

Result of cooperation with partners

The Chair in Patronage Studies is an initiative of Stichting Geef om Cultuur in cooperation with Utrecht University. Its funding has been made possible by contributions from the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, the Friends Lottery and the VandenEnde Foundation. Voordekunst has also joined as a knowledge partner of the Knowledge Hub.