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Adolph Staring collection

Identifier: ubl036

Scope and Contents

The drawings collected by Staring reflect his professional interest in Dutch 18th-century art. The majority of the drawings originate from that century, even though Staring also had an interest for artists working at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Most artists working in this period are represented. Most notable are larger groups of drawings by Jacob van Strij, Aert Schouman and Jacob de Wit.


  • Creation: 1700-1850
  • Creation: Bulk 1700-1800

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

Adolph Staring was born in 1890 in the city of Dordrecht. His father Maurits Staring was an officer in the army and later became the director of the publishing firm Blussé, in which family he had married. Staring studied law at Leiden University and took a job with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after his graduation. Already during his studies did he develop a lively interest in the arts, especially those of the eighteenth century. Staring was accustomed with art through his family background and started collecting drawings, while at the same time taking an interest in art history. His resignation in the 1920s, thanks to financial independency, gave him more liberty and time to spend on his growing collections and research. In the end this led to the publication of an authoritative monograph on Jacob de Wit (1959). He also published many articles that made him one of the leading experts on Dutch eighteenth-century art in his time.


237 drawings

Language of Materials


Abstract in Dutch

Verzameling tekeningen bijeengebracht door Adolph Staring (1890-1980).

Abstract in English

Collection of drawings, gathered by Adolph Staring (1890-1980).


The inventory is arranged alphabetically by artist.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Staring kept record of his purchases in a card catalogue, now in the archives of the Print Room. The article by R.J.A. te Rijdt (1994) contains a complete list of the drawings in the collection. Besides that all works have been recorded in Digital Collections.

Custodial History

Staring bought most of his drawings from Dutch art dealers and at auctions. The card inventory he kept (see below) records in most of the cases the way he purchased each drawing.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection of A. Staring was purchased from the collector by the Leiden Print Room in 1969. Originally destined as a donation to the university, Staring was forced to sell instead, due to the high costs of maintaining his country estate De Wildenborch. Three drawings by Jacob Cats, Jan van Huysum and Cornelis Troost remained with the family as a loan before they came to Leiden in 1996 to join the rest of the collection.


No future additions are to be expected.

Related Materials

The drawings from the collection of Adolph Staring are part of the larger collections of drawings in the Print Room. The collection of Albertus Welcker contains a large amount of 18th-century drawings as well.

Separated Materials

Besides the drawings and a small number of paintings and statuettes that remained with the family, Staring possessed a collection of portrait miniatures. These he donated to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


  • Cat. exh. L. Frerichs, Verzameling Mr. A. Staring, Amsterdam (‘s Rijks Prentenkabinet), 1955.
  • Te Rijdt, R.J.A., ‘De collectie tekeningen van mr. Adolph Staring in het Prentenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden’, in: Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 9 (1994), p. 157-230


The material of this collection can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The drawings have been integrated into the general collections of drawings. Prior to the acquisition a selection of the drawings was exhibited at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 1955.

Collection guide of the Adolph Staring collection (1700-1850)
Collectie Adolph Staring
Jef Schaeps, 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
This finding aid has been written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857