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The Design Collection - From ceramics, furniture, glassware to De Stijl and Dutch Design

now on view

Emile Gallé, No title (clocks set), 1873-1883, collection: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, photo:  Tom Haartsen Anonymous, Frying pan with wooden handle (added later), ca.1300-1400, materials: bronze, wood, collection: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, No title (Table), 1923, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, photo: Tom Haartsen The Design Collection, Study collection Domestic Metalwork, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Johann Simon Rothaer, Display rummer with panorama of the city and harbour of Hamburg, 1704-1709, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Daniel Weil, Bagradio, 1983, collectie Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen The Design Collection, Study collection Domestic Metalwork, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Anthony Donker, Silver glass cooler, 1708, material: silver, collection: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Herman Doomer, No title (collector’s cabinet), 1640-1650, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, photo: Tom Haartsen The Design Collection, Study collection Domestic Metalwork, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg The Design Collection, photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

On the ground floor of the Van der Steur building, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents the permanent design collection. The museum will be using seven rooms to exhibit some thirty themes from the history of design, illustrated by objects from the Middle Ages until now: from a 17th century tulip chest to an Eames chair, from ceramics from the middle ages to china by Hella Jongerius.

In The Design Collection, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents objects from the collection in separate groups. Each group illustrates a specific theme in the history of design from 1500 to the present day. We see, for instance, the results of the quest for a satisfactory imitation of Oriental porcelain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The outcome of the search for a door handle that feels right in the hand, and the experiments in bending wood to create a comfortable and affordable chair are also presented as individual themes in this display.

The Curator’s Choice

The three curators responsible for The Design Collection have chosen their favourite works of those on display. Mienke Simon Thomas, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design: ‘My favourite is the seventeenth-century Collector’s Cabinet by Herman Doomer with the pressed whalebone drawer fronts. It intrigues me because this unique piece dates from a period when everything was handmade, but it nonetheless has some traits of serial production. Because they were pressed in a single mould, the drawer fronts are all identical. As such they undermine the romantic notion we have of craftsmanship!’
Annemartine van Kesteren, Curator of Design, has chosen the ‘Bag Radio’ by Daniel Weil from 1983: ‘Because it an enormously liberated idea about what a radio can be. This design shows very effectively how the functionalist design principle 'form follows function' has come to an end.’
Alexandra Gaba-van Dongen, Curator of Pre-industrial Design, has selected the Lady Harvey Glass, a monumental wineglass with a panoramic representation of the city of Hamburg from the beginning of the eighteenth century. ‘The glass is part of the extensive gift of Elie van Rijckevorsel, the founder of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s design collection.’

Video's on ARTtube

  • In this video, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design Mienke Simon Thomas shows the nineteenth-century chimney piece by Emile Gallé.
  • Alexandra Gaba van Dongen, Curator of Pre-industrial Design, here dwells on the dinner set with objects from the 2nd half of the 16th century.
  • In this video, Curator of Design Annemartine van Kesteren tells about the special lamp 'Spiegel Luminious Elements' from 1969 by Verner Panton.
  • Curator of Modern and Contemporary art Saskia van Kampen-Prein shows in this video three works by Thomas Rentmeister.
  • In this video, Curator Mienke Simon Thomas shows a beautiful example of a collector’s cabinet from the 17th century by Herman Doomer.

Watch all the video's on ARTtube.

Design in Boijmans

This exhibition is part of the ‘Design in Boijmans’ programme. In 2013, design has been spotlighted in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. With the renewed arrangement of the museum collection and several design exhibitions, a lot of attention is paid to design in the museum.