Design and Fashion in the Museum
August 2012

The Design Collection

In 2012 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is presenting the Design Collection in an all-new layout on the ground floor of the Van der Steur Building. In seven galleries the museum explores 30 or so themes from the history of design, using objects from the Middle Ages through to the present day.

Visitors in the museum, photo:Fred Ernst
Visitors in the museum, photo:Fred Ernst

The renewal of the Design Collection presentation is being tackled in phases. The first four galleries were refurbished in July and August. We expect to complete the reorganisation by the end of this year. The collection will be presented chronologically as well as thematically. Some of the galleries are not involved in the makeover, to leave space for temporary displays and contemporary design, such as the new ‘Design Column’ series.

Developments and Evolutions
The renewed layout turns our attention to the evolutions which have occurred in the applied arts and design. Many new designs stem from earlier discoveries, but throughout history totally new or ‘different’ objects were rarely appreciated by clients and consumers. The presentation reveals, for example, how people have been endeavouring to make glass more transparent since the 16th century, that from the 17th century the design of silverware became increasingly complex, and how from around 1900 exceptional colours were used to glaze traditional pottery. This explains why designers focus primarily on the modification of existing products.

Over the coming months you may encounter some gallery closures and/or diversions, because of the presentation’s phased realisation. You can find the latest information on the website.