The making of the new portrait gallery

February 1, 2024

For a few years now, WUR Library has been managing WUR's artworks and academic heritage collection. In recent months, we carried out the redesign of the portrait gallery in Omnia. In this article, we show how the portraits were removed and replaced.

A new design

With the input of the WUR community, the Portrait Gallery working group formulated a new vision and design for the portrait gallery. 25 portraits of rectors will remain on display, complemented by three videos showing the diversity of people at WUR in their work.

Under construction

We hope the photos below give you a good impression of the work that was involved in removing the portraits.

Two workmen standing on a hydraulic lift looking at the portrait paintings from close by.

To make room for the wide video screens, a specialised company first needed to remove all the portraits. That was a delicate operation that demanded precision and careful handling. Next, the new layout of the wall took shape: five rector portraits were repositioned on the wall as the central starting point.

Several removed portrait paintings standing against a wall on the floor

5 portrait paintings of rectors on the wall in a star shaped lay-out

New layout of the wall

In the photo below you can see a glimpse of the new layout, with the 3 wide screens and a space reserved for the new portrait of the outgoing rector Arthur Mol. See the strip in the middle of the composition.

25 portrait paintings and 3 wide screens displayed on the wall in Omnia

Opening of the new portrait & video wall

Giacomo Sardonini, the filmmaker, will complete his work at the end of this month. The new gallery will include his videos and will be officially opened on 26 March 2024.

Management of art and heritage

Wageningen University & Research owns some 600 paintings, sculptures and other works of art. WUR Library manages these indoor and outdoor artworks and academic heritage collections. The Art and Heritage Committee consisting of WUR members advises the Library on these topics. Do you want to know more? Please email Special Collections.