Kasteel Wijlre estate was founded by Jo and Marlies Eijck, and it is truly a Gesamtkunstwerk. From their unique philosophy on life, they have connected art with the beautiful nature around the castle in Wijlre. ‘In Wijlre, art, architecture, and landscape form a perfect unity.’
The couple acquired the dilapidated Kasteel Wijlre estate in 1981 and restored the historic castle, gardens, and coach house. Designed by architect Wiel Arets, the Hedge House was built in 2001. This beautiful art pavilion accommodates an orchid greenhouse, an orangery, a henhouse, and an exhibition space. ‘It is probably the only art gallery in the world where one can see plants and orchids grow above the space where artworks are displayed and where a glass chicken run complements the building.’
Over the years, Jo and Marlies Eijck have organised inspiring and internationally acclaimed exhibitions. In 2012, on the initiative of Jo and Marlies Eijck and Albert and Hannie Groot-Wijnands, the estate’s management and maintenance and the programming of exhibitions, educational activities, and cultural projects were transferred to Kasteel Wijlre estate Foundation.
In September 2017, the Eijck couple donated the estate to the Elisabeth Strouven Fund. Since then, the fund has been responsible for the estate’s maintenance. The Kasteel Wijlre Estate Foundation is responsible for the running of the estate, its cultural programme of exhibitions and projects, and the maintenance of the Garden.
Quotes: Sandra Smallenburg, NRC Handelsblad and Jane Garmey, The New York Times