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Design Derby - the Netherlands - Belgium (1815-2015)

from June 13 2015 until September 13 2015

Maarten van Severen for Galerie Kreo Hella Jongerius, Blossom light, 2006

In this ‘design derby’ the design icons of the Netherlands and Belgium will face each other in an exciting confrontation. From the sumptuous and elegant Belgian Art Nouveau to the more austere Dutch version and from the contemporary traditional tours de force from Belgium to the level-headed Dutch Design of today.

In the summer of 2015, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be staging a retrospective of Dutch and Belgian design over the past 200 years. Four hundred objects will be on show from the two neighbouring countries, varying from silver, glass, ceramics and posters to furniture, fashion and cars. The objects will be presented next to each other, in chronological order. At each moment of the time-line from 1815 to 2015, the visitor can see the most interesting items from the Netherlands and what Belgium, in turn, considered as exemplary at this juncture. After Rotterdam, the exhibition will, in the autumn of 2015, travel to the Design Museum in Ghent.

Berlage & Van de Velde

Placing the style icons of two neighbouring countries opposite each other reveals striking differences and similarities. Such as the difference around the turn of the 18th-19th century, when Belgium, thanks to the industrial revolution, grew into a metropolis, while Amsterdam was a provincial town, the expansion of which was still half a century away. Conversely, the Netherlands flourished during the First World War with styles such as the Amsterdam School and De Stijl, while little took place in Belgium, as it was involved in the war. The history of Dutch design features names such as Berlage, the Bruynzeel kitchen and Philips, while in Belgium, these position are assumed by Henry Van de Velde, the Cubex kitchen, and household products by Nova and
Kalorik. And now too, Belgium is big in fashion design, while the Netherlands is again famous for its strong graphic abilities.


A book will appear with the exhibition, in which eight historical and theoretical themes, with examples of objects that will also be on show in the exhibition, will be discussed in depth by Belgian and Dutch authors. Each article will be accompanied by comments from a specialist from the neighbouring country.