April 25, 1938
Born in Ootmarsum, the son of a baker, Ton grew up in a traditional
middle-class family of six children.
Attends the primary school in Ootmarsum, likes to draw and tinker in
Attends a school for advanced elementary education (MULO) in
Oldenzaal and a vocational school for window dressing.
Attends the preparatory seminary in Oudenbosch where he is not
allowed to draw or paint. He leaves the seminary when he realizes
that he wants to do something both artistic and creative.
He enters the service of Vroom & Dreesmann in Enschde as a window
dresser, attending evening classes and daytime education at the
Academy for Art and Industry (AKI) in Enschede.
After an interruption due to conscription (1958/59), he passes the
examination for graphic design and styling in 1962 cum laude. Back
in Enschede with V&D he has his first exhibition with drawings and
water colors in the staff canteen.
Ton Schulten enters the service of a leading advertising agency De
Zuil in Enschede. Here he meets Henk van Mielo, together they form
an original and creative team, attracting much attention with their
advertising campaigns for small and large, well-known companies.
Marriage to Ank Lammerink, nursery school teacher in Reutum.
Henk van Mierlo and Ton Schulten leave De Zuil to begin their own
advertising agency: Createam, a success artistically but not
A new advertising and design studio is established, this time in
Ootmarsrsum, together with wife Ank. Soon the venture is a success.
He continues to paint and make collages from waste materials.
Jan Okkinga becomes partner in the business which is called Schulten
and Okkinga. The business expands and there are 35 employees. Ton
Schulten, due to his success, cannot find the time to paint.
Ton Schulten leaves S + O. A year later his wife, Ank, opens a small
art gallery 'Galerie Kerkplein', situated on the Kerkplein in
Ootmarsum. The gallery houses a permanent exhibition of his work, as
well as traveling exhibitions by other artists. In fact, the gallery
is the start of Ootmarsum's development as an art center.
He makes abstract paintings with geometrical shapes, later
predominately with floral motives, while fully enjoying his artistic
During a holiday on Tenerife, Ton and Ank have a very serious
accident. After a long period of rehabilitation, they resume their
Ton Schulten discovers the Twente scenery as a motif and a source of
inspiration. His work becomes increasingly figurative although he
does not strive to copy exactly what he observes. His canvases are
large and mystical, with influences of cubism, showing woods, moors,
maize fields, and imaginative villages and towns. They are very
popular with the public.
Ank and Ton move the gallery to the Markstraat and establish an
annex in the Gasthuisstraat. Thus a centre for modern art is created
for the Dutch-German border area. Apart from his own work he also
exhibits work from other visual artist. The museum für Kunst und
Kultureschichte in Maagdenburg organizes a special exhibition of the
work of Ton Schulten with the theme 'Twente, Holland with a
difference', Further exhibitions were held in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf,
Prate (Florence) and St. Paul, Minnesota (US). Four television
programs were made about Ton Schulten by Dutch and German
broadcasting corporations. Exhibitions in France and in the US are
in preparation. The artist himself says: "My work continues to
deepen and expand."
Extension of gallery on the Gasthuisstraat.
Exhibition in Münster (Germany) at the "Haus der Niederlande", which
was recently opened by his Royal Highness crown prince Willem
Alexander. Ton Schulten is the first Dutch painter to exhibit there.
A special exhibition of Schulten's work is held at The Lowe Gallery
in Atlanta, Georgia. At the same time, a book on his work is
published and a film about his life is produced.
An exhibition is organized at the invitation of the German city of
Bocholt. He also exhibits in Oberhausen (Germany) and again in
Atlanta. The Museum Ton Schulten, that remains Ootmarsum's very own,
acquires more international fame all the time.
In July/August, an exhibition is held in The Artists House in
Jerusalem. That Autumn, Ton and Ank make a journey to Australia
where Ton falls under the spell of the light and euphoria of colors
Schulten is working on a book with the Twente writer and poet,
Willem Wilmink. Wilmink's poems and Ton Schulten's paintings form a
mutual source of inspiration, an interactive play with words and
images. His exuberant zest for life is also evident from the second
film on his life and work, that opens this Summer. Ton donates one
of his paintings and a number of screen prints to the foundation 'Twente
for Enschede'. The proceeds are for the benefit of the victims of
the Enschede fireworks disaster. In the Spring, the parliamentary
liberal party (VVD) of the Dutch Lower House of Parliament invites
Ton to hold an exhibition in the houses of parliament in The Hague.
In June, a third gallery is opened in the adjacent building in
Marktstraat to expand the capacity of the existing gallery. Ton
Schulten is once more invited by the Kulturhistorische Museum in
Magdeburg to hold another exhibition.
In March, a comprehensive documentary on Ton Schulten is broadcast
on Dutch television. He is once more invited by the
Kulturhistorische Museum in Magdeburg to hold another exhibition
named, "Farben der anderen Welt" (Colors from another world).
Preparations are made for a special exhibition in Berlin. Her
majesty, master of Order of the house of Orange Nassau, awarded Ton
Schulten the medal of knighthood on April, 23, 2002.
Besides an exhibition in Atlanta there is also one in Santa Monica.
In the spring there is an exhibition at Kunsthuis Manna in Belgium.
The exhibitions in America are expanded. The works of Ton Schulten
can also be seen in Beverly Hills during January and February.
The gallery on Gasthuisstraat opens a book gallery. This special
gallery will be officially opened in March by Mr. G.J. Jansen, the
QUeen's Commissioner from the province of Overijssel. Ton is a guest
on the TV show "Old friends." An exhibition of his work is to be
opened in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition, preparations are underway for the exhibition in Berlin,
for which Ton has been invited to the city of Berlin. In May, an
overview exhibition will be held at the "Palais am Festingsgraben,
Museum der Stadt Berlin" under the title "Harmony and Peace, A
journey through the pictures of Dutchman, Ton Schulten." The German
art critic Hartmut Rau studies the painting style of Ton Schulten
and assigns to is a new movement: Consensusism. This style is
described in detail in the book "Ton Schulten, Painter of
Consensusism," published in August. The minister of Defense Mr. Henk
Kamp officially receives the first copy.
The sculpture garden in Gastuisstraat is officially opened in
September from Dr. V. Maaswinkel.
Exhibitions are held in April and May in Remscheid and Schmallenberg
in Germany. Also in May; after a long developmental phase, Royal
Delft produces a unique ceramic plate in collaboration with Ton
Schulten. This is an absolute tribute to the painter Ton Schulten.
In July Ton Schulten is once again on television, on the national
channel Nederland 1, this time in a repeat of the programme "De
Wandeling" (the walk). The "Ton Schulten Foundation" is established,
with the purpose of maintaining the museum and gallery for
Ootmarsum. The aim of the gallery in the future will be to offer new
chances to young talent.
In early September Ton and Ank Schulten celebrate their gallery's
15th anniversary. A retrospective exhibition in a museum in Vienna
is meanwhile in preparation.