How YOU can help us: Your will

 Gifts, bequests and other inheritances are vital to the Gemeentemuseum. To expand its collections, the museum relies to a great extent on the help of private collectors. Indeed, without private support, the museum would lose its very reason to exist.

The subsidy provided by the City of The Hague enables the museum to carry out its basic tasks. But it is thanks to the generosity of private individuals, businesses, charitable funds and foundations that the museum is able to do so much more: to expand its collections, organize outstanding exhibitions, offer special educational programmes, etc. So the museum is grateful for every gift or inheritance, however large or small.


Do you care about the Gemeentemuseum? Do you want to support it? By expressing your support in the form of gifts or by leaving the museum something in your will, you can make your own personal contribution to the work of the Gemeentemuseum. For example, your support may enable the museum to undertake restoration work, implement an educational project, or enhance its collections by acquiring artworks that it could not otherwise afford.

Your will

You can also help to ensure the future of the Gemeentemuseum in the longer term. One way of doing so is to mention the Gemeentemuseum in your will. 

There are various ways of doing this. You can make a bequest to the Gemeentemuseum (for example, a set sum of money, a percentage of your estate, a specific art object or a portfolio of stocks and shares). Or you can name the museum as your heir (or one of them). The museum will then receive whatever part of your estate you have specified. It can also act as your executor if you wish.

The Gemeentemuseum possesses the largest collection of Mondrians anywhere in the world. It includes almost three hundred works. Around two hundred of them were left to the museum by Salomon Bernard Slijper (1884-1971). 

Slijper was an Amsterdam estate agent. He met Mondrian in the summer of 1915, when they were staying at the same boarding house in Laren. Slijper saw one of Mondrian’s paintings on the wall and became fascinated by his work. The two men became friends and Slijper began to buy work from Mondrian. He became Mondrian’s patron and by far the greatest contemporary collector of his work. 

After his death, it emerged that Slijper had left his huge collection of Mondrians to the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. As a result, his collection not only remained intact, but was saved for the nation and could be enjoyed by everyone. 

Commemorative fund

You can also use your will to establish a commemorative fund or to appoint the Gemeentemuseum as an heir on condition that your estate (or part of it) is added to your own commemorative fund.

The Dutch tax administration recognizes the Gemeentemuseum as a Cultural Public Benefit Organization (in Dutch: Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling). This means that every gift or testamentary disposition in favour of the Gemeentemuseum is completely exempt from gift or inheritance tax. In other words, the museum pays no tax on them.

The minimum amount needed to establish a commemorative fund is € 50,000.

Using art objects to pay inheritance tax

Heirs have to pay inheritance tax on the value of what they inherit. If the inheritance includes an art object, they may be able to donate it in lieu of all or part of this. The amount of inheritance tax due will then be reduced by up to 120% of the value of the art object. 

However, not every art object qualifies for this. In deciding whether to grant the request for payment in lieu, the tax administration will seek the advice of a committee specialising in the assessment of the importance of artworks.

For example:

Your estate includes an art object worth € 50,000. By donating it, your heirs may be able to meet € 60,000 of their inheritance tax bill.


For further information, advice and details of other ways of making gifts and testamentary dispositions, mail Céline 't Hart, or phone her on + 31 (0)6 81 84 98 51.