This trophy is shaped like a cylinder, as a symbol for a prize handed out. The cylinder is made of copper, a material used in the beer brewing industry, and the medals at both ends of the cylinder are made of silver. The jury report can be kept inside the cylinder, whereby it essentially becomes a time capsule. The prize was designed and produced by Eelco Veenman.
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.
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.