The Museum Celebrates its 160th Anniversary

Saturday 4 July 11.00 a.m. -5.00 p.m.

On Saturday 4 July Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be celebrating its 160th anniversary. To mark the occasion there will be free art and coffee. Visitors can take part in activities and openings at no charge, have free access to all of the exhibitions and drink unlimited tea or coffee. The day will end with a firework display by artist Ada Dispa.

During the day the museum will be offering a varied programme of events:
11.00 a.m.   Museum opens
11.15 a.m.   Anniversary day opening by the director Sjarel Ex
11.15 a.m.   Opening of Art4Kids, selling exhibition for 5 to 18-year-olds
12.00 noon-4.00 p.m.   Non-stop guided tours for adults and children
2.00-3.30 p.m.   Performances by Antistrot in the courtyard
3.30 p.m.   Opening of the Antistrot mural ‘Hidden Track’
3.30 p.m   Unveiling of the acquisition ‘Let her down’ by Pipilotti Rist,
in the presence of collector Han Nefkens.
4.00 p.m.   ‘A Little Death March’, firework display by the artist Ada
5.00 p.m.   End

Firework display
Artist Ada Dispa has produced a firework display to celebrate the museum’s 160th anniversary. In her own words, ‘ I don’t want to spoil the festivities by involving death in them. But even so; Little Death March. Fireworks are music and a little death. I actually mean the exemplary transience of a firework. You watch it while it dies. It may put you in a euphoric mood, perhaps even ecstasy and then it’s all over. And you don’t remember it. The rhythm doesn’t sink in, the melody doesn’t sink in. Yet you can still feel that you’ve experienced something.’
The firework display was made possible by the BKVB Foundation.

The museum’s origins
Museum Boijmans opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday 3 July 1849. After 160 years we can look back on the fascinating development of this Rotterdam museum, which is one of the Netherlands’ most important museums of art. To a considerable extent the collections owe their size and quality to the private initiative that has always had a special significance in Rotterdam and flourishes to this day.
The museum has two private collectors to thank for its name. In 1847 the Utrecht lawyer Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans bequeathed his art collection to the City of Rotterdam. This was the beginning of the museum. In 1958 the museum acquired the collection of the shipping magnate D.G. van Beuningen. This was such a milestone that the name of the museum was changed to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

There are many other private collectors to whom the museum owes much. Their different interests formed the basis of the collection’s diversity. And thanks to their enthusiasm the museum now is the only one in the Netherlands to hold paintings by Jan van Eyck, Titian, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Salvador Dalí. In the second half of the twentieth century the museum benefitted from the generosity of collectors. In 1981, for instance, thanks to Mr and Mrs Van Beuningen-de Vries, the museum acquired a sizeable collection of pre-industrial objects, and in 2005, with the aid of H+F Patronage, it obtained a magnificent installation by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. This year, thanks to the generous gifts from private individuals, funds and a cultural lottery, the museum acquired the portrait of the Lütjens family by Max Beckmann.