Park Sonsbeek.

Stichting Sonsbeek & State of Fashion
Utrechtsestraat 49
6811 LT Arnhem
The Netherlands
T +31 26 303 1940

From its very first edition SONSBEEK has continued to flex the boundaries of international contemporary art. With its leading editions held between 1949 and 2008, SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel presentations of art in public space. The history of the Sonsbeek exhibitions taking place in Arnhem’s city park goes back to 1949. At first it was a biennale, soon after as a triennial, but since 1958 the interval became irregular. The exhibition was initiated in an effort to help Arnhem recover from the heavy damages the city suffered during the Second World War. In 1948 the Arnhem alderman H.M.A Klompé visited the open-air exhibition in Battersea Park, London, which led to the founding of Arnhem exhibition. Sonsbeek ’49 combined art and the lush nature of Sonsbeek park, and by doing so served as a mental salve for the traumatised inhabitants. The exhibition exceeded all expectations: 125,000 people visited the park. Since this first edition in 1949, Sonsbeek has contributed to and redefined international contemporary art.

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