Oode Gallery

Oode Gallery

We asked Marleen Kurvers owner of Oode about her concept and how she merges art and design in her gallery in Amsterdam.


What is Oode Gallery and when did you start? Could you also tell us what Oode means?

OODE brings contemporary Dutch design and art together with orphaned art – art from closed museums and art institutions. We wanted to create an awareness about our own Dutch inheritance, not only within the range of product design. As we were looking for one of a kind products, we fell in love with ‘orphaned art’:  Beautiful and interesting art pieces that are left in storage to be forgotten because of closure of museums, art centers or even private galleries. We give them a new life at OODE. We want to generate public and governmental awareness about the consequences that heavy budget cuts have on sectors such as cultural heritage. As supporting the (upcoming) contemporary product designers and artists are also very important to us, we wanted to bring these two worlds together, creating OODE.’

We started in 2014 in the centre of Amsterdam in a monumental canal house at the Singel. OODE means ‘dedication’ in old dutch, so its a reference to the forgotten art pieces that we are very much dedicated to.


Why did you decide to mix design and orphaned art together?

The often outspoken design pieces create a new and contemporary context to these orphaned art pieces. Like this we can give them an upgrade and show people the true value of these items. The design that we curate can even be completely the opposite in colour, texture and material but overall it shows our perspective of an interior that can be a mix of old and new, innovative or crafted.


What were the first pieces that you included in your gallery? 

For us the art pieces we discover do not need to be created by a known artist. But I remember we had for example textiles of Claudy Jongstra and quite a lot of artworks from a closed Artcentre in Utrecht and the Scryption museum. Designwise we combined it with chandeliers of Rick Tegelaar and Suzanne de Graef, products of Dirk van der Kooij, textiles of Mae Engelgeer and so on.


How do you find orphaned art?

We work together with Stichting Onterfdgoed, Verborgen Kunst and even private collections that people contact us for. 


How do you find/select design pieces? 

Curating at Design weeks (Eindhoven, Milan), graduation shows or Art Academies. We even discover items on instagram.


What sort of clients come to and purchase from Oode gallery? 

Of course art- and design lovers that are looking for one-of-a kind pieces that are very interested in supporting upcoming artists - and designers who would like to adopt an orphaned art piece. These pieces are quite affordable so our gallery is accessible for a wide audience. 

Do you think art and design are merging?

YES for sure. Like Marcel Wanders in Stedelijk Museum or Maarten Baas in Groninger museum, artworks that are made with very innovative techniques, designers and artists that work together. DROOG design that became more conceptual over the last years during their exhibitions. Chairs in museums. Food design. There is no specific boundary anymore. Probably during this Dutch Design Week we will see this shift in perception of design.


Where do you think collectible design is heading?

Based on the experience with the gallery a lot of people don't want pieces you can find in every interior. It is a reflection of their identity and designers and artists are aware of these changes. No mass production, but prototypes, unique and handcrafted pieces and customised design.

Photography by Chloe Alyshea