The wooded surroundings of Plasmolen in North Limburg attracted the first artists around 1900. During the first half of the last century dozens painted the surroundings and the population. For many, their stay in Plasmolen was short-lived; others became fascinated forever.
Around 1900 the Amsterdam notary's son Jacques van Mourik settled in Plasmolen, the place he had gotten to know during holidays with his parents. On the advice of the Hague painter Jacob Maris, Van Mourik had attended the Academy of Visual Arts in Düsseldorf and the Rijksacademie van Amsterdam. Between the lumberjacks, poachers and poachers, the young painter felt at home. They formed the subject for Jacques van Mourik's work, together with the varied nature. How unspoilt that nature was, can be seen from the remark by the naturalist/writer Jac.P. Thijsse: "The Jansberg near Mook, with its immediate surroundings is, botanically, one of the richest landscapes in the Netherlands, perhaps the richest".
After a few years Van Mourik persuaded his academy friend Dirk Ocker and his wife, the painter Paula Janette, to come to Plasmolen. Ocker was then part of the painting group "Gooise Tien" and worked in Laren. Ocker settled permanently in Plasmolen in 1916.
Since 1912 the painter Gerard Cox lived with his family in Mook. In the autumn, he moved to Limburg to sell his new work in a caravan. One of his daughters married Jacques van Mourik in 1916. Cox captured the surroundings in countless pastels: the moors, the poor farms, women gathering wood, the fens and woods.
More and more artists settled in Plasmolen. In addition, there were many contacts with professional brothers in the region.
There is no question of a Plasmolen School, each painted according to his own nature, with his own techniques, according to his own ideas. Nature plays an important role in the work of most people and gives a picture of what was lost, through the war and through progress and tourism.
The village of Plasmolen (and surroundings) was one of the few Dutch painting villages and the only one in the province of Limburg. Plasmolen has been officially recognised by the European Federation of Artists' Colonies (EuroArt) as a 'European Artist colony' since 2009.
Since September 2020 KunstLokaalMook has been opened, an initiative of the Jacques van Mourik Foundation. In this exhibition space work from the own collection of Jacques van Mourik and his contemporaries, including Gerard Cox sr., Theo Deckers, Peter Job, Dirk Ocker, Jopie van Kampen and the other painters who belonged to the Plasmolian Colony, will be shown. In addition, work by contemporary artists from the region will also be shown.