Kindergarten is an avant-garde teaching method developed by the German educator Friedrich Wilhelm Fröbel (1782-1852). He founded a Kindergarten around 1840; a garden that was the ideal environment for children’s play. Fröbel’s teaching materials, some of which are included as a starting point to this exhibition, used the shapes and colours from which nature is built. Fröbel’s ideas, visual language and formal language have since had a significant influence on artists, designers and architects. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright referred directly to Fröbel’s materials when he said, ‘the maple wood blocks ... are still in my fingers to this day.’ Play objects, such as blocks, sewing cards and mosaic tiles, can be found in art-historical movements such as Futurism, Bauhaus and Minimalism.
Spirit of Kindergarten
The exhibition shows the work by nine artists in whose work form, colour, material or the element of play is related to the concept of Kindergarten.These works of art are interwoven with loans from the collections of art collectors and founders of Kasteel Wijlre estate, Jo and Marlies Eyck, Bonnefanten, Museum Insel Hombroich, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the National Education Museum.
In collaboration with the National Education Museum, Nivoz Foundation, The Froebel Trust (UK), Wellcome Trust (UK), the estate also presents a programme of lectures, films and educational labs.
Erich Weiss curates the exhibition at the Hedge House, which brings together works from various international collectors and collections.