Frans van der Veen (87), former director of Schouwburg Ogterop, passed away

Painter and former director of Schouwburg Ogterop Frans van der Veen passed away yesterday at the age of 87.

Van der Veen is seen as an important driver of art and culture in Drenthe. After a sixteen-year directorship at the Meppeler theatre, he concluded his career in 1987 as director of the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague.

“Frans had to fight,” says Mieke Mulders, curator of the Stedelijk Museum, about Van der Veen’s commitment to Drenthe. “He never gave up and continued to indicate the importance of art. There were often doubts about it, but Frans knew better. It was not a rewarding task that he always persevered, but we will continue his work,” Mulders is convinced.

As a relatively unknown exhibition maker, Van der Veen managed to organize exhibitions and later brought work by Picasso, Chabot and Mankes to Meppel. He developed further as an art critic and painter, became a teacher at Minerva Academy and thus fulfilled an important role in the cultural interests of Drenthe. Later he was at the helm of the theaters in Meppel and The Hague.

Mulders maintained a lot of personal contact with Van der Veen over the years and saw him walking through the streets of Meppel several times. He spent his last years there after moving from IJhorst. “We remember him with adventurous pleasure,” concludes Mulders. “We are very grateful to Frans for everything.”