Silver fuses the collections of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Tax and Customs Museum during Boijmans Next Door. Stunning silver goblets, tobacco boxes and salt cellars are being rehoused from the Museumpark to the Parklaan.
The combination of Dutch silverware and paintings in which these items are depicted makes the exhibition ‘Forge Together: Masters in Silver’ into much more than the sum of its parts. From 16 March 2019 to 17 January 2021 visitors can admire silver showpieces and paintings by Dutch masters such as Jan Steen and Gerard Dou in the Tax and Customs Museum.
Masters in Silver
Between 1807 and 1987 the guarantor for gold and silver in the Netherlands was the Ministry of Finance. In addition to maker’s mark, city coats of arms and letters indicating the year of production, silver items were also stamped with tax marks. The assayers, who determined the quality of the silver, have literally left their mark on silver items in the collection of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. This process is also revealed in the exhibition, which includes objects used by the assayers, such as their punches.
Silver Objects as Painters’ Models
The twenty-five costly goblets, salt cellars, teapots, terrines and tobacco boxes are shown in a different perspective in the Tax and Customs Museum. Some of them are even shown upside down so that the tax marks are visible, telling the story of the taxation of silver. Several seventeenth-century paintings from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, such as ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ by Jan Steen (1661) and ‘A Young Woman at her Toilet’ by Gerard Dou (1667), show the role and significance of silver objects as painters’ models. The remarkable silver christening goblet ‘Jack in the Cellar’ (1622) made by the Dordrecht-based silversmith Jan Hermanszoon van Ossevoort tells the visitor its own story. And identical christening goblet is depicted in a seventeenth-century luxury still life by Peter Willebeeck that was gifted to Museum Boymans in 1910 by the Rotterdam-based collector Dr Elie van Rijckevorsel (1845-1928), an earlier resident of the Parklaan.
“Boijmans Next Door presents a wonderful opportunity to bring together the collections of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Tax and Customs Museum and to reveal new perspectives on these objects. Boijmans’ collection of silver has a history that relates to taxation. Pooling the knowledge from the two museums leads to surprising insights and new stories.”
Alexandra van Dongen, curator of pre-industrial design at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
More about Boijmans Next Door
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s internationally renowned collection is being dispersed across Rotterdam. Some 500 masterpieces will be displayed in eleven special exhibitions at eight of the museum’s neighbours under the title ‘Boijmans Next Door’. The exhibitions in these guest venues will create encounters between Boijmans’ collection and that of its neighbours. For example, the Maritime Museum will exhibit a selection of seascapes, while masterpieces by Kandinsky and others will be displayed in the Chabot Museum, opposite Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In this way, you need not miss the museum’s collection while the building is being renovated.More about Boijmans Next Door
Transit Boijmans Van Beuningen
Later this year, the museum will close for essential renovations. In this transitional period, the museum is making its world-class collection available elsewhere in Rotterdam and further afield. In addition to the ‘Boijmans Next Door’ projects, the museum has also created travelling exhibitions for museums all around the world. And schoolchildren in Rotterdam are being introduced to real artworks from the collection in the project ‘Boijmans in the Classroom’. Meanwhile, the construction of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen continues apace. The world’s first publicly accessible art-storage facility will open at the beginning of 2021 and will safely house and display 151,000 artworks.