The collection of the museum provides its visitors with an interesting overview of the visual arts from the early twentieth century, with an emphasis on the works created in between the two world wars, a period often called the Interbellum. The core collection focuses on the brothers Thijs and Evert Rinsema, who were introduced to the international avant-garde in the early twentieth century and brought representatives of De Stijl and the Dada-movement to Drachten. The philosophical reflections of Evert Rinsema, his so-called aphorisms, and the visual art produced by his brother Thijs are amply represented in the permanent exhibition located in the Rinsema Wing of the museum.

The core collection of the museum includes several masterpieces of Theo Van Doesburg, and several other works of the German Dadaist Kurt Schwitters. In 2013 the author K. Schippers generously donated the entirety of his Holland-Dada archives to Museum Dr8888. Two original artworks by Man Ray are located within this collection. The museum has also many works by Ploeg-artist H. N. Werkman for long-term loan periods, thus truly making this the main Interbellum of the North of the Netherlands. Besides work by artists like Jacob Bendien, Johan Dijkstra, Jakob Nieweg, Otto Van Rees, Pier Pander, Jan Sluijters and Piet Van Wijngaerdt, the collection contains works by several more typically northern Dutch artists that were also active during the Interbellum, such as Ids Wiersma, Sierd Geertsma and Jan Planting.

Post-war expressionism is widely represented in the collection by the following artists; Klaas Koopmans, Pier Feddema, Jaap Rusticus and several works by Gerrit Benner. And even several prized works by Boele Bregman, Jan Loman and Mare Van Der Woude are part of the museum’s extensive collection. Museum Dr8888 has a acquisition policy which encourages the purchase of contemporary Northern Dutch artists. On a regular basis their works are featured in temporary exhibitions. Of these notable contemporary artists the following have been included in exhibitions; Machiel Braaksma, Dinie Boogaart, Anne Feddema, Jan Ketelaar, Gerrit Offringa en Krin Rinsema.

The museum also possesses an expansive cultural-historic collection, assembled back when the museum was an Oudheidskamer, a type of local historical association. This collection contains many items alluding to the rich history of Smallingerland, of which Drachten is the county seat, for example the 17th century silverware created by Drachten’s very own silver smith Henricus Ludinga. 

The policy of the museum regarding the collection is described in detail in Collectieplan Museum Dr8888 2015-2018 (in dutch). Click here to see our online collection.