Discover Benelux | The Netherlands | All Spotlights on The Hague
richly decorated interior full of handcrafted details.” Crucially, the Kunstmuseum was purpose-built as a temple for the arts. “It’s a daylight museum: it has windows in every room, cleverly integrated in the ceiling, so that the light is diffused and creates a bright and modern interior ideal for displaying artworks,” reveals Hardeman. “The exhibition will highlight features like these and give a unique insight into the history, design and execution of this magnificent building.”
Dior, Israels and Breitner The Kunstmuseum building isn’t the only local masterpiece to get a place in the spotlight next year. In spring, the museum houses an exhibition on the friendship and rivalry between Dutch impressionists Isaac Israels and George Hendrik Breitner. “These two contemporaries maintained a friendship, but they were also inspired and sometimes intimidated by each other’s work, a dynamic that helped them push their craft,” Hardeman explains. Autumn will be an interesting time for fashion fanatics, as the museum welcomes a major exhibition showcasing the designs of Christian Dior. “The col-
Pablo Picasso, La femme au pot de moutarde (Woman with Mustard Pot), 1910.
lection we display will focus mainly on the clothes designed by Dior himself between 1947 and 1957, but we will also highlight the history of this iconic fashion brand and its influence on subsequent fashion developments.”
Art for the people With its diverse approach, encompassing everything from modern painting and sculpture to architecture, fashion and photography, the Kunstmuseum explicitly aims to attract as diverse an audience as possible. “We want to welcome national and international visitors as well as local inhabitants of The Hague, from
George Hendrik Breitner, Girl in Red Kimono (Geesje Kwak), circa 1893.
every cultural background and of all ages,” says Hardeman. To make visiting the museum more attractive to families, it harbours ‘wonderkamers’ (treasure chambers), interactive exhibition spaces designed specifically for kids so that they can discover the artworks in an engaging and ageappropriate way. This feature is internationally renowned and attracts regular interest from other museums looking to adopt similar approaches. And as a bonus, museum entry is free for anyone under the age of 18. “With everything we do, we simply try to bring people closer to the arts and the arts closer to the people,” concludes Hardeman. “That’s why we don’t price our exhibitions separately: you buy one entry ticket and you get to see everything on display in the museum. That way, we encourage visitors to discover something new every time.”
Claude Monet, Blue Rain, 1917-1920.
Upcoming exhibitions: Breitner and Israels: 1 Feb – 10 May 2020 Royal Blue: 21 March – 16 Aug 2020 Dior: 21 Sept – 28 Feb 2021
Wassily Kandinsky, Bild met weisser Form (Painting with White Shape), 1913. On loan from Guggenheim Museum, New York
Visit www.kunstmuseum.nl for opening hours, ticket prices, current exhibitions and other practical information.
Issue 73 | January 2020 | 15