Dutch National Museum Week!
Coming from a developing country where the values of museums in cultural tourism are not sufficiently acknowledged and promoted, exhibitions are not yet really invested in, annual museum visits remain subdued, and museum entrance fees are comparatively low, I have a vested interest in the flourishing Dutch museum system. According to NL Times, prior to the pandemic, the annual number of Dutch museum visitors recorded is 33 million including foreigners. This went downhill after the coronavirus pandemic hit the world with travel restrictions on foreign visitors and precautionary measures for visitors within the nation as well, however, measures have been gradually lifted and museums are welcoming visitors back (freely) to an increasing rate.
Museums are considered of great value in preserving and honoring cultural heritage and introducing them to visitors. Visiting the museum display, local visitors will have a chance to boost their understanding of national spiritual and cultural values, which leads them to becoming the key promoters for these values. In addition, visitors from outside the locality will have an overview of the history, culture, customs and habits of the land they visit. Thus, the Dutch National Museum Week (from 4th April to 10th April) is a valuable occasion where these activities are promoted and celebrated to the fullest. This year’s theme is "open your world.” The Museum Association stated: “Museums are our places of inspiration and wonder. Of reflection and recognition. A meeting place that activates conversation between people with different backgrounds and world views: especially in these overwhelming times!”
During the rare occasion, hundreds of well-known and lesser-known museums (more than 300) open up their exhibitions for visitors. Museums will join the festivity by holding multifarious activities across the country. Participating in a special guided tour or workshop, attending lectures, and exploring exhibitions created specifically for the event are options for what to do during the National Museum Week.
Do you need some recommendations and inspiration?
During the week, here are some examples of museums and collections you can visit:
- Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam Museum
- Rotterdam: Rotterdam Natural History Museum, Kunsthal, World Museum and the Netherlands Photo Museum, the Rotterdam Maritime Museum
- The Hague: Escher in the Palace, Kunstmuseum, Beelden aan Zee Museum, Museon, the Louwman Museum, the Prison Gate Museum
- Maastricht: Museum aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht National History Museum, Bonnefantenmuseum, Thermenmuseum (near Maastricht)
- Utrecht: Centraal Museum, National Railway Museum, Catharijneconvent Museum
- Leiden: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Rijksmuseum Van Oudeheden, Japan Museum Sieboldhuis, Naturalis
- Eindhoven: Eindhoven Historic Village Museum, Van Abbemuseum
- Groningen: Groninger Museum, Northern Maritime Museum, the Groningen University Museum, GRID Graphic Museum
And many more.
Here is some inspiration on special collections of the National Museum Week:
- Monday (4th April)
Lecture about botanical painter Alida Withoos (3.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.): Museum Flehite, Amersfoort
- Tuesday (5th April)
Mindful looking at art (10 a.m. to 11 a.m): Museum MORE, Gorssel
Entry-level tour RESPECT! (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.): Museum De Voorde, Zoetermeer
- Wednesday (6th April)
Watching Mindful Art (multiple options for time slots): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Splendor and eel - stories from the collection (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Natural History Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam
time machine (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.): Museum de Scheper, Eibergen
- Thursday (7th April)
Creative Printmaking from Japan (2 p.m. to 2.45 p.m.): Online - Japan Museum SieboldHuis, Leiden
Magic Lantern Demonstration (multiple options for time slots): Toy Museum Deventer, Deventer
Pop round Breda (7.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.): Municipal Museum Breda, Breda
- Friday (8th April)
Museum Night 2022 (7 to 1 a.m.): Natural History Museum Maastricht, Maastricht
Museum talk - Open your world (multiple options for time slots): Tax & Customs Museum, Rotterdam
Vintage Fashion Show & Movie Yves Saint Laurent (4.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.): Kulturhus Borne, Borne
- Saturday (9th April)
The Diamond Museum Amsterdam opens your world (1 p.m. to 2 p.m.): Diamond Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
The history of your own region (2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. from April 5 to April 9): Historical Museum De Bevelanden, Goes
Salon Leiden: Hanneke Schuitemaker about the Leiden corona vaccine (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.): Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Leiden
Walk and VR experience (multiple options for time slots from April 6 to April 9): Geert Groote Huis, Deventer
- Sunday (10th April)
Modeling a portrait for two (10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.): Museum De Domijnen, Sittard
Lecture: Paradise (2 p.m. to 3.15 p.m.): Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort
Open your world in Mesdag's Panorama (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April 5 to April 10): Museum Panorama Mesdag, The Hague
Family treasure hunt 'Working for the high lord' (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from April 5 to April 10): Museum Huis Doorn, Doorn
What are you waiting for? Leave your phone and laptop screens, “open your world”, relax your brains and get inspired!