Good start for Boijmans

Courtyard Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Photo Fred Ernst.

Press release

Good start to the year for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
July 2011

For Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen the first half of 2011 has exceeded expectations. More than 165,000 people visited the more than twenty special exhibitions organised by the museum. These visitors have generated approximately 4.3 million euros for the city. The museum’s website and other online platforms were visited by more than 450,000.

Visitors and new media
In the first half of 2011 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen received more than165,000 visitors, of whom more than 24,000 were 18 or younger. According to data from Rotterdam Marketing and Holland Art Cities, these visitors spent approximately 4.3 million euros in hotels, shops, restaurants and cafés in the city. The museum’s main website – – attracted no fewer than 330,000 visitors, 21 per cent of these from abroad. Up to and including June 2011, more than 53,000 watched videos about art and design on the museum’s online video channel: The Peanut-Butter Post and the episodes of Boijmans TV were especially popular. The museum’s virtual collection – – has already been visited more than 60,000 times this year. Since the museum launched at the beginning of April, this special research site has been visited 4,000 times. The museum has more than 5,200 Facebook fans and 5,000 followers on Twitter.

Due to its international success, the museum’s video channel ArtTube, partner to the American site ArtBabble, is being expanded. From this summer will be programmed in partnership with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, De Pont in Tilburg and MuHKA in Antwerp. Each museum will add a minimum of eight videos per year to the channel, which already holds more thank 120 interviews, art videos and short documentaries.

Over the past six months, the museum has organised some twenty projects and exhibitions, some of them in other venues and abroad. From the blockbuster ‘All Eyes on Kees van Dongen’ last winter and the presentation of the acquisition of the Peanut-Butter Platform by Wim T. Schippers to the surreal installation by Elmgreen & Dragset in the Submarine Wharf and ‘Beauty in Science’ curated by the Prof. Dr Hans Galjaard, all the projects were enthusiastically received by the public. The museum has had massive press coverage, including abroad. In particular ‘The One & The Many’ by the Scandinavian duo Elmgreen & Dragset, currently on show in the former Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam’s harbour, attracted significant foreign press coverage.


This year several of the museum’s successful exhibitions have travelled abroad. ‘All Eyes on Kees van Dongen’ was shown this sprint at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (until 17 July 2011). The exhibition has been a great public success in Paris and has already attracted more than 140,000 visitors. The exhibition ‘The Art of Fashion’ from 2009 is now at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (until 7 August 2011). The Johan Thorn Prikker exhibition is now showing at the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, the partner for this project (until 7 August 2011).

Self-generated revenue
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen manages a collection of approximately 140,000 objects including old masters, modern and contemporary art, applied arts and design, and a national monument measuring 26,000 square metres. The museum receives an annual subsidy of 9.8 million euros from the city council to cover these costs. All other activities, including acquisitions, education and organising exhibitions, are finances by the museum itself. In 2010 the museum achieved a record figure in self-generated revenue of 8.5 million euros, thus covering a large part of its costs. In 2010 that was more than 45 per cent, thanks to the BankGiro Loterij, the VSB Fonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Rabobank, the Turing Foundation, Unilever and others. Each year the museum manages to generate between 35 and 45 per cent of its budget itself. The museum hopes to be able to continue at this level in the future.

The success of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is due in large part to the support of individual patrons and foundations that have an ongoing relationship with the museum. Alongside the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation, these include the Kalhorn/Timmermans Fund, the Lucas van Leyden Foundation, the Willem van Rede Fund, the Van Beuningen/Peterich Fund, the Willem van der Vorm Foundation and H+F Patronage. The museum’s exhibition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of H+F Patronage is on show until the end of September, accompanied by a publication.

Funding cuts in Rotterdam
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen receives an annual subsidy of 9.8 million euros from the Municipality of Rotterdam. This sum covers the rent and the fixed building costs (the rent is paid back to the Municipality of Rotterdam) and 90 per cent of the museum’s salary costs for 92 full-time posts. Next year the municipality will make no adjustment for inflation and will also cut the subsidy by 2 per cent. The represents a de facto reduction in the museum’s subsidy of approximately 400,000 euros. From January 2013 the Municipality of Rotterdam push through cuts of 20 per cent (16.5 million euros) across the entire arts sector. It will not be clear what the consequences will be for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen until next year.

Good news for the collection: the Collections Building!
Last week Rotterdam’s city council gave the green light for a Collections Building for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. For years the museum has struggled with flooding and other risks in its overcrowded storage facilities. The new building will comprise storage and conservation facilities for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collections. Fifty per cent of the building will be devoted to the care of private collections, for whom the museum’s expertise will be made available through a new PPP (Public–private partnership) construction. The Municipality of Rotterdam has earmarked 25 million euros for this new initiative. A private party is prepared to contribute an additional 15 million euros on the condition that the building is sited in the Museumpark adjacent to the museum. The Collections Building will be accessible to the public and is expected to open in 2015.