Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae

Rokin 112
M.G. Tetar van Elven, J.H. Leliman, H.P. Berlage e.a.
Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae
1841, 1894, 1964
tram 4, 9, 14, 16, 24, halte Rokin

The building on the corner of Rokin and Spui is known as that of ‘Arti’, or the Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae (= for art and friendship). The building Grand Salon Duport on Rokin was purchased for this Amsterdam society for visual artists and art lovers in 1840 and since then a succession of designers have worked on this national listed building.

In 1841, the first floor of the building was converted into an art gallery by the architect M.G. Tetar van Elven. Around 1854, Arti purchased a shop building situated behind on Kalverstraat and the inn ‘Het Wapen van Utrecht’ on Spui, which had not yet been filled in. These buildings were then joined together to form a single structure under the direction of the architect J.H. Leliman. The entire exterior was plastered white, making the brick façade look like natural stone. The four statues on the front elevation represent architecture, sculpture, engraving and painting.

In 1893-94, the layout of the building was altered. Exhibition rooms and committee rooms were created upstairs. An enormous roof with a cast-iron beam construction is still visible above the flat clerestory windows in the exhibition rooms. Tetar van Elven was the first to embrace the new materials and as a result Arti has the oldest cast iron work in the Netherlands.
On entering the building on the ground floor, the stately interior immediately strikes the eye. The wooden ceiling is divided into panels and has painted ornamentation, as has the wooden furniture, most of which was designed by the renowned architect H.P. Berlage. In the restoration of 1962-64, the main entrance was relocated to Rokin and Arti’s exterior appearance has remained unchanged ever since. (MB)