The artists' colony of Plasmolen - the only one in the province Limburg – is situated in the village Mook and Middelaar.
The colony started approx. 1895 with Jacques van Mourik (Amsterdam 1879-1971 Plasmolen). The painter stayed in Plasmolen for over 65 years and invited colleagues to join him. In the first decades several artists, most of them knew each other from the Royal Academy Amsterdam, came to Plasmolen. They organised some combined exhibitions. What they had in common was the inspiration of both the rough nature (woods in which the Romans built a villa and moors), and the poor farmers struggling for life on their land.
Artists from the nearby city of Nijmegen and villages like Milsbeek, Beek and Groesbeek worked regularly in Plasmolen and were connected to the group. Also artists from Amsterdam, The Hague etc. (e.g. Meindert Butter came every year to paint, accompanied by his wife/model Grace, a professional opera-singer; and Willem Rip, known as “petit maitre of the Hague School” had a cottage near Plasmolen to work) visited the area.
During the Second World War a group of graphic artists came, got in touch with the colony and mixed with the ceramic-group from the nearest village Milsbeek. Photographers and some sculptors completed the group. In that period Van Mourik hid a poet - Louis de Bourbon (taking part in the resistance) - who brought several poets and writers to Plasmolen.
At this moment still over 40 professional artists live and work in the area.
Top: Jacques van Mourik (1879-1971): Het Groene Water (The Green Water) at Plasmolen, approx. 1935, oil on canvas; coll. Jacques van Mourik Foundation
Middle: Gerard Cox sr. (1864-1931): Kolen oogsten (Harvesting cabbage) at Middelaar, approx. 1920, oil on canvas; coll. Jacques van Mourik Foundation
Bottom: Jopie van Kampen (1911-1988): drawing at Plasmolen, approx. 1953, photograph; coll. Jacques van Mourik Foundation