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Hand Made - Long Live Crafts

from March 9 2013 until May 20 2013

Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Johanna Schweizer, Twins, 2011. Cotton and metallic threads dipped in resin, 134 x 59 x 19 cm. Courtesy of Brutto Gusto fine arts, Berlin. Photo: Peter Cox. Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Grayson Perry, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, 2011. Cast Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Harmen Brethouwer, Untitled, 2004. Silver filigree, 74 x 25 cm. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Iris van Herpen, Asymmetric Coral Dress, 2012. Silver metal plissé. Photo: Michel Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Bottle, late 17th century. Engraved glass, height 28.5 cm. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Studio Job, Bavaria Screen, 2008. Rosewood inlaid with various coloured exotic woods, height 185 cm. Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg M.W.V. Dijsselhof-Keuchenius, A thing of beauty is a joy forever, 1905-1907, collection Gemeentemuseum The Hague. Exhibition Overview, Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Anonymous, Copper cauldron, 1575-1675. Hammered brass with cast-iron rim and handle, 14.6 x 38 cm. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Harm Henrick Kamerlingh Onnes, Roof tile with seated figure, 1961. Glazed ceramic, 20 x 12 cm. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

In the spring of 2013 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen took crafts as its principal theme. An exhibition with more than 500 objects presented the most exceptional examples of artistic crafts. With a complementary programme of demonstrations of traditional techniques, films and documentaries, markets and a whole variety of workshops, Hand Made brought crafts to life.

In the exhibition visitors could enjoy the most exceptional objects made by human hands, from the Middle Ages to the present day, in the museum’s spacious Bodon galleries: from a 16th-century suit of armour to the handmade fashion of Iris van Herpen, from ‘Clay Furniture’ by designer Maarten Baas to refined needlepoint lace and examples of domestic embroidery. Short videos provided insight into the traditional techniques used to produce these objects. As part of the exhibition, craftspeople were continuously on hand to demonstrate their skills and passion, showing a whole array of techniques, such as papermaking, weaving, goldsmithing or a demonstration of violin making. 

Seven clichés about crafts 

The hundreds of objects in the exhibition were not arranged chronologically, but were centred around popular clichés that exist about the concept of ‘crafts’. The chosen objects showed that the clichés often have a kernel of truth, but it is also possible to show that the opposite is true. For example, the practice of crafts is not necessarily ‘fair’ and imperfection has not always been a universally valued property of handmade products. Hand Made thus provided the concept of crafts with an historical context and at the same time offered a glimpse into the future of creative crafts.

Thanks to

‘Hand Made, Long Live Crafts’ is supported by the Mondriaan Fonds, VSBfonds, SNS REAAL Fonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, Shell, SintLucas, Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage, Etsy, Farrow & Ball, Netherlands Institute for sound and vision, Swan Market en all participating craftspeople . vtwonen is the mediapartner for the exhibition.

Design in Boijmans 

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is the Dutch podium for national and international design talent. Since 2011 the museum has presented a range of exciting design exhibitions as part of the programme ‘Design in Boijmans’. There is also a wealth of design on display in 2013.

Watch a compilation of videos about various crafts made ​​by the museum in the 90s of the last century:  


Watch the ARTtube video about Royal Tichelaar Makkum here. The ceramics factory has passed on knowledge of ceramics and built up expertise over generations. Partly by commissioning contemporary product designers, this knowledge and experience are given new life



Watch here the ARTtube video about the crockery Fundamentals of Makkum made by Atelier NL (Nadine Sterk & Lonny Ryswyck) who are on view in Hand Made. The crockery is made by different kind of Dutch clay: a baked map of the Netherlands. 


And watch the ARTtube video about Piet Hein Eek here, in which he tells about The Factory, with which he was nominated for the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011.