A Dream of a Museum
Long before museum architecture was a popular tourist attraction, architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage and museum director Hendrik Enno van Gelder dreamed of creating an innovative, purpose-built museum. A building where visitors would feel at home, and where the art would be shown to its best advantage. Their dream became a reality in 1935, when a new museum for modern and decorative arts opened in The Hague. Although Berlage had died in 1934, and sadly did not see the completion of the building, he and Van Gelder set an example for the many museums that would be built later.
The exhibition will start with the architect and director’s original ideas and show how they impact the way we experience Kunstmuseum Den Haag to this day. Narratives, photographs, designs, drawings and unique archive material will be used to present a complete picture of a building which, since the day it opened, has been a favourite with visitors, artists and architects the world over.
The richly illustrated book Het gedroomde museum – Kunstmuseum Den Haag, with articles by Jan de Bruijn, Doede Hardeman and Jet van Overeem, will be published on the occasion of the exhibition. Over 120 photographs and a wealth of historical material provide a detailed picture of the building and its history. Also the rooms that are normally closed to the public. The book is available in Dutch, English and German, designed by Haller Brun and produced in collaboration with nai010 publishers.
Exhibition ‘A Dream of a Museum – Berlage’s Masterpiece’
Kunstmuseum Den Haag
20 February till 20 June 2021
Photos: Gerrit Schreurs