/ Kruizenga Art Museum

Donor Stories

Donors play a vital role in fostering the growth and distinctiveness of the Kruizenga Art Museum collection. The donors whose stories appear on this page have different relationships with Hope College, ranging from alumni and relatives of alumni to faculty and friends, but all of them are enthusiastic about Hope's educational mission and believe in the power of art to change lives. Their gifts and those of other donors embody the intellectual curiosity and commitment to community that have distinguished Hope College since its founding.

Kruizenga Art Museum gallery

David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Magzor Gyalmo

In 2014, California residents David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton gave Hope College more than 500 Asian, European and American works of art and a library of more than 7,000 art­related books, museum publications and auction catalogs. The works of art in the Kamansky­-Wheaton gift were carefully selected from a much larger art collection formed primarily by Mr. Kamansky over a period of more than fifty years.

A native of California, Kamansky is the former director of Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. During his thirty-year tenure at Pacific Asia Museum, Kamansky built a strong permanent collection of more than 14,000 objects for the museum while organizing ground­breaking exhibitions on subjects ranging from Australian aboriginal art and Filipino ivory carving to contemporary Chinese painting and Tibetan furniture. Kamansky also applied his broad interests and extensive knowledge to his personal collection, which ranges from Asian, European and American art to Pre-Columbian, Oceanic and African art. For many years, this art collection was displayed in various homes owned by Kamansky and his long-time partner Gerald Wheaton, a retired commercial baker and salon owner who is also interested in antiques.

In 2013, however, Kamansky and Wheaton decided to downsize to a smaller residence. Having already donated hundreds of artworks to museums in California, Kamansky and Wheaton wanted to donate art to an institution where it would have an immediate impact and not duplicate existing collections. They knew of the Kruizenga Art Museum through their friendship with founding director Charles Mason, who had served in Kamansky's former position as director of Pacific Asia Museum from 2011 to 2013.

The idea of giving to the KAM appealed to them because Wheaton was born and raised in Michigan, so the donation would create a major art legacy in both of their home states. "Gerald and I like the idea of our art going to a part of Michigan where Asian art in particular is not well represented," said Kamansky. The fact that Hope College was able to take the related art library was also a major factor in their decision, as Kamansky noted: "The library was formed in conjunction with the art collection, and it is wonderful that students will be able to use the books and catalogs as they are learning about the art."

Image: Magzor Gyalmo. Mongolian. 18th Century. Incense paste, pigments. Gift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton, 2014.23.314

Orville C. Beattie

"Bonne Pensée du Matin" by Fernand LegerMuskegon native Orville "Carl" Beattie (1917-2005) graduated from Hope in 1939 with a degree in mathematics. After earning a master's degree in mathematics and actuarial sciences at the University of Michigan, Beattie spent four years in the U.S. Army Air Corp. From 1946 to 1977, Beattie worked in Chicago for A.S. Hansen Consulting Actuaries, a private pension firm where he rose through the ranks to become president and chief executive officer. He was married with three children and served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations.

According to his wife Mary, Beattie had a lifelong interest in music and art and was an avid collector. "He rented an apartment just after we were married," Mary recalled, "and he started to carry in his things. That night after he got all of his prints, books and records into the apartment I said, 'There won't be any room in here for me.' He stopped suddenly, looked into my eyes and said 'There will always be room for you.' And there was."

After retiring from A.S. Hansen, Beattie bought a controlling interest in the Benjamin Art Gallery in Chicago. Beattie served as director of the Benjamin-Beattie Galleries from 1979 to 1997 and was also appointed a member of the Illinois Arts Council. Between 1977 and 1989, Beattie donated thirty prints and drawings to Hope College, including works by Fernand Leger, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Henry Moore and Robert Rauschenberg. Beattie's gifts significantly raised the overall quality and educational value of Hope's art collection.

Carl's son David, also a Hope alumnus from the class of 1973 , said of his father's legacy: "Carl Beattie was a strong believer in the idea that while our faith reminds us of our divinity, our art reminds us of our humanity. Our family is very proud of the legacy he has left through his gifts of fine art to Hope. He would be thrilled to know that the Kruizenga Museum will be a place to house the many wonderful gifts of fine art that Hope has been blessed with over the years and that so many will now be able to enjoy.''

Image: Bonne Pensée du Matin. Fernand Leger (French, 1881-1955), 1948. Gouache and ink on paper. Gift of Orville C. Beattie, 1981.1.8

Louis M. Plansoen

"Return from Fishing" by Hendrik Willem Mesdag

Hope College received ten European and American oil paintings and sixteen lithographs from the estate of Louis M. Plansoen (1892-1978) between 1979 and 1985. Born in the Netherlands, Plansoen immigrated to the United States in 1910 and settled in New Jersey. For ten years Plansoen worked as a machinist in a paper company where he learned how to coat paper with different chemicals for printing and packaging purposes.

In 1920, Louis and his brother John founded the Federal Leather Company in Belleville, New Jersey to produce coated leather and textiles for industrial applications. An early client was the Ford Motor Company, which used products from the Plansoen factory to make automobile upholstery. In the 1930s and 40s Federal Leather was among the first American companies to experiment with vinyl, which helped the company win profitable contracts to produce ponchos and rainwear for the U.S. Army during World War II. Over the course of his career, Plansoen obtained several patents for new products and manufacturing processes. He retired as president of Federal Industries in 1961 and lived the remaining years of his life in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Plansoen's connection to Hope College was through his nephew Cornelius Plansoen, who graduated from Hope in 1942. Plansoen's bequest to Hope included paintings by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915), Robert Crannell Minor (1839-1904), Bernard de Hoog (1867-1943) and Maurice Grun (1869-1947), among others. Today the Mesdag, Minor and de Hoog are fixtures of the Kruizenga Art Museum's founding collection while other paintings from the Plansoen bequest are currently displayed in the college president's home. In addition to paintings, the Louis M. Plansoen estate also donated endowment funds to create a scholarship for the benefit of deserving Hope students.

Image: Return from Fishing. Hendrik Willem Mesdag (Dutch, 1831-1915), late 19th century. Oil on canvas. Gift of Louis M. Plansoen, 1979.1.2

Maurice Kawashima

Rectangular Dish by Kitaoji Rosanjin

Encouraged by his friendships with several Hope alumni, California resident Maurice Kawashima donated sixty modern Japanese studio ceramics to the college in 1990. The Kawashima gift included works by many important Japanese ceramic artists of the 20th century, including Kitaoji Rosanjin, Tamura Koichi, Kondo Yuzo, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, and Matsui Kosei. The sixty pieces given to Hope were selected from a larger collection carefully formed by Kawashima over several decades. "My interest in ceramics stems from my heritage," said Kawashima, "for the manner in which we Japanese live lends particular importance to this form of artistic expression.

"Among the variety of art forms that make up the culture of Japan, that of ceramics is a basic expression of our mode of living. This includes the art of flower arrangement, the ceremony of tea, and the etiquette of dining; all of which are inspired by and intimately associated with the beliefs of Buddhism."

Born in Japan and educated at the Bunka College of Fashion in Tokyo, Kawashima came to the United States in the early 1960s to continue his studies and pursue a career in fashion. He was hired as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design in New York City in 1965 and taught there for twenty-five years, rising to the rank of full professor. Kawashima also founded his own fashion company, Masaaki New York, and served as designer for a number of leading Japanese and American fashion firms. He authored several important books on pattern-making and men's fashion and holds three patents for special measuring instruments used in the fashion industry.

In addition to being a supporter of Hope College, Kawashima is a long-time board member of the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Youth Symphony and other cultural organizations in his home city. He is a Commander brother in the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, an honor bestowed by Queen Elizabeth 11 of Great Britain.

Image: Rectangular Dish. Kitaoji Rosanjin (Japanese, 1883-1959), mid-20th century. Stoneware, glazes. Gift of Maurice Kawashima, 1990.3.52

Richard and Margaret Kruizenga

"Commander of Frailties" by Shawn SpencerRichard and Margaret Kruizenga not only made the lead gift for the art museum building, they also donated endowment funds to support the museum's operations and donated works of art to strengthen its permanent collection. Art donations from the Kruizengas include works by Louise Nevelson, Helen Frankenthaler, Eric Fischl, Elizabeth Murray, Jennifer Bartlett and Shawn Spencer.

The Kruizengas lived with these works for many years in New York, Texas and Michigan before generously donating them to Hope to boost the fledgling museum collection. Richard and Margaret (nee Feldmann) both graduated from Hope College in 1952. Richard studied economics and business at Hope and was a member of the Emersonian Fraternity. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and enjoyed a long career with Exxon, Inc., retiring as Vice President of Corporate Planning. Richard also served on the Hope College Board of Trustees and on the Investment Committee.

Margaret studied sociology at Hope, was a state champion orator and was a member of the Sibylline Sorority. She earned her Master's Degree in Sociology from Boston University. She taught at the college level and was known for her love of the arts and theater. Margaret and Richard were early and enthusiastic supporters of the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Margaret passed away in April 2013. The Kruizengas lived overseas in Malaysia, Australia, Japan and all over the United States. They have two surviving children, Derek Kruizenga and Meg Froelich.

Richard and Margaret's support for the museum reflects their longtime love for art, sparked at Hope College, and developed during their travels and throughout their lives together.

Image: Commander of Frailties. Shawn Spencer (American, b. 1961), 1998. Oil on birch panel. Gift of Richard and Margaret Kruizenga, 2012.5.6

The Hesselink Family

"Living Stones" by Tajima HiroyukiJohn and Etta Hesselink served the Reformed Church as missionaries and teachers in Japan from 1953 to 1973. The Hesselinks have five children, the older three of whom grew up in Japan, and the entire family developed a deep appreciation for Japanese art and culture. Alongside his work as a professor at Tokyo Union Theological Seminary, John Hesselink occasionally provided English translations for a Tokyo art gallery and got to know many important print artists, including Joichi Hoshi, Haku Maki, Sadao Watanabe, Junichiro Sekino, Hiroto Norikane, Hajime Namiki and Tadashi Nakayama, whose works and those of other contemporary artists the family avidly collected.

Etta also enjoyed visiting antique and other local shops and began collecting Japanese ceramics, textiles and dolls, among other things. In 1973, the Hesselink family moved to Holland, Michigan where John Hesselink became President of Western Theological Seminary. However, John and Etta Hesselink retained their close ties to Japan, returning frequently to visit old friends and continuing to grow their art collection, with Etta (and the younger children) visiting shops in Tokyo and around Japan and adding, in particular, to their collections of Japanese ceramics and textiles. Their older children also collected Japanese art, in particular their daughter Ann, who has also made frequent trips to Japan.

Although John and Etta are graduates of Central College in Iowa, the family also has strong ties to Hope College. The family's oldest son, also named John, and daughter, Ann, are graduates of Hope while father John received an honorary doctorate from the college in 1973. John Hesselink the elder is also a cousin to Richard Kruizenga, so when the college began to build the Kruizenga Art Museum, the Hesselink family generously offered to donate a significant portion of their art collection for the benefit of Hope students and the broader Holland community.

The Hesselink gift includes prints, ceramics, textiles and other works of art that greatly strengthen and expand the museum's holdings of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese art in particular. "Japan and its arts hold a special place in our hearts, and we wanted to be able to share many of our collections with the Hope College community."

Image: Living Stones. Tajima Hiroyuki (Japanese, 1911-1984), 1970. Woodcut. Gift of the Hesselink Family, 2015.57.129

Vernon and Roberta Poest

"Kezdi" by Victor VasarelyVernon and Roberta Poest donated more than a dozen works of art to Hope College between 1983 and 2011, ranging from Pre-Columbian and Native American ceramics to contemporary European and American paintings. A generous bequest from the Poest's estate also supported construction of the museum building where one of the exhibition galleries is named in their honor.

Vernon Poest (1918-2009) was born in Zeeland, Michigan. After studying at Hope College (class of 1939), Poest earned degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and business law from LaSalle University in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War Two and then went to work for Herman Miller, Inc., rising to become Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer by the time he retired in 1980.

Roberta Fay Poest (1918-2010) resided in Michigan for many years and was a graduate of the University of Michigan where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She was the mother of two children and was very involved in the Literary Society of Zeeland, the Junior League of Holland and the Michigan Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. Vernon and Roberta were both devout church-goers, avid golfers and enthusiastic travelers.

Along with their gifts of art and money to the museum, the Poests also established an endowed scholarship at Hope College to support students majoring in Business.

Image: Kezdi. Victor Vasarely (French, born Hungary 1906-1997), 1989. Acrylic on wood. Formerly in the collection of Vernon and Robert Poest. Gift of Patricia L. King and Thomas Poest, 2011.4.5

Jack and Lee Nyenhuis

"Minotaur as Calf" by Michael AyrtonRetired faculty-member Jack Nyenhuis and his wife Lee made a major gift to the Kruizenga Art Museum building project, providing funds to create a sculpture garden around the museum that will beautify the campus and extend the museum's educational impact beyond its walls. But even before the museum project was conceived, the Nyenhuises had helped organize two major exhibitions at Hope of works by the 20th-century British artist Michael Ayrton (1921-1975); they also donated an important suite of his prints that has become an integral part of the museum's founding collection.

The Nyenhuis gifts are all the more meaningful because Jack Nyenhuis is an authority on Ayrton and author of the book Myth and the Creative Process: Michael Ayrton and the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker (2003).

Educated at Calvin College and Stanford University, Nyenhuis was a professor of classics at Wayne State University from 1962 to 1975. He joined the Hope faculty as Professor of Classics in 1975, serving as the Dean of Humanities from 1975 to 1978, as Dean of Arts and Humanities from 1978 to 1984, and Provost from 1984 to 2001. Since retiring from the Hope faculty, Nyenhuis has continued to serve the college as director of the A.C. Van Raalte Institute.

Lee Nyenhuis completed a bachelor's degree in Art History from Hope College as a non­traditional student, graduating with the Class of 1993. Her interest in art was nurtured by frequent visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts while living there and regular visits over the years to museums and art galleries in the U.S. and Europe.

Jack and Lee were inspired from the very beginning by Matt Vander Borgh's architectural vision for the KAM and its sculpture garden. They have fond memories of the "American Eight" sculptures on the campus during the summer of 1982 and hope that sculptures of similar scope and beauty will soon grace the new garden.

Image: Minotaur as Calf. Michael Ayrton (British, 1921-1975), 1971. Etching. Gift of Jacob and Lee Nyenhuis, 1988.2.5

John and Reda Santinga

Jar with Peony MotifsJohn '54 and Reda Santinga '57 are alumni with a deep appreciation for Hope College. They value the liberal arts education the college provided along with its Christian mission of service to others. John, after three years at Hope, received an early admission to the University of Michigan Medical School. Reda graduated from Hope with a major in English, a secondary teaching certificate, and a minor in French. Reda credits her French professor Nella Meyer with instilling a strong interest in traveling abroad.

As a couple, their first opportunity to go overseas came after John's first year of internal medicine residency. He served in the Air Force in Seville, Spain. They lived there for three years and enjoyed traveling in Europe, visiting many museums. After Spain, the Santingas returned to Ann Arbor with their three children for the completion of John's residency, a fellowship in cardiology, and a year as an instructor on the faculty of the medical school. The second overseas opportunity came about when the Santingas spent four years as missionaries with the Presbyterian Church. John received an appointment on the faculty in cardiology at the medical school of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Reda taught English at Seoul Foreign School.

In 1970, the Santingas settled back in Ann Arbor, with John on the faculty at the medical school. After the children were grown, Reda, having earned a master's degree in library science, became the librarian at Greenhills School. They have both been active in the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, serving as elders and on various committees.

John and Reda share a strong interest in the arts. At Hope, John sang in the chapel choir; Reda played the cello in the orchestra and symphonette. She played for many years in the Ann Arbor Symphony and continues playing chamber music with friends. The Santinga home reflects their interest in art, especially Korean ceramics and paintings. They are committed to loan or donate the art that is of interest to the Kruizenga Museum for the purpose of educating students and enriching the collection.

Image: Jar with Peony Motifs. Korean, 19th Century. Glazed porcelain, underglaze cobalt. Gift of John and Reda Santinga, 2015.30

Lavina "Daisy" Hoogeveen

"The Well in Samaria" by Sadao WatanabeGrand Rapids native Daisy Hoogeveen graduated from Hope College in 1952 as a classmate of Dick and Margaret Kruizenga. Hoogeveen was extremely active in student life at Hope, joining the German Club, English Club, International Relations Club, YWCA, Sibylline Sorority and staff of The Anchor newspaper, among other activities. Called to become an educator, Hoogeveen served for five years in the 1950s as a missionary-teacher for the Reformed Church in Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait, teaching in Arabic at schools for girls and young women.

After receiving a Master's degree in guidance and counseling from Western Michigan University in 1961, Hoogeveen taught at high schools in the United States and Saudi Arabia before joining the U.S. government as a teacher in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. She worked for DoDDS from 1967 to 1993, teaching at schools on military bases in Libya, Okinawa, Korea, Japan and Germany. During her tours of duty in Okinawa and Japan, Hoogeveen became interested in modern Japanese printmaking and acquired a significant collection of works by artists including Sadao Watanabe, Hoshi Joichi, Haku Maki, Tadashi Nakayama and Tanaka Ryohei.

Construction of the Kruizenga Art Museum inspired Hoogeveen to donate her print collection to Hope College. She has said that she hopes the prints will broaden the cultural horizons of Hope students and give them a deeper appreciation of different artistic processes and aesthetic sensibilities. She also hopes that the Christian-themed prints by Sadao Watanabe in particular will inspire Hope students and others to think about the contemporary relevance of Biblical stories. In addition to her gifts to the Kruizenga Art Museum, Hoogeveen has also established a scholarship to benefit deserving students with financial needs, especially those planning careers in ministry or mission work.

Image: The Well in Samaria. Sadao Watanabe (Japanese, 1913-1996), 1979. Stencil print. Gift of Lavina "Daisy" Hoogeveen, 2015.26