The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art honours the outstanding achievements of remarkable artists, creates space for reflection and, hopefully, brings inspiration for new work and ideas. It consists of a monetary award of 50,000 euros, another 50,000 euros to fund the publication of a book and/or the organisation of an exhibition, and a trophy. The prize was established in 1988 and is awarded every two years. It is funded by the Dr A.H. Heineken Foundation for Art.
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Alfred Heineken loved the beautiful things in life. Art occupied a special place, with painting and sculpture holding a particular fascination for him. ‘He could really fall in love with a painting’, his daughter Charlene remembers. He had a ‘nose’ for art that often enabled him to identify new talent and see the merits of a work of art more quickly than many art connoisseurs. In the 1990s, he was the driving force behind the production of Fascinating Art, a documentary series on famous painters. He was also an accomplished photographer.
A preference for painting and sculpture did not narrow his vision. Thus the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art has been shared among a variety of artistic disciplines, including design, photography and video. Alfred Heineken wanted the prize to go to Dutch artists whose work merited extra attention – and for whom the prize would act as an incentive.