From this autumn, schools will be able to order artworks and museum docents on location as part of the new ‘Boijmans in the Classroom’ programme. More than ninety classes in Rotterdam have already shown an interest in the scheme.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is closed for the coming seven years for an extensive renovation and modernisation programme. In this period, the museum is ensuring that the collection remains visible, and that no child aged 4-18 in Rotterdam grows up without the opportunity to see works from the museum’s famous collection. The museum’s entire collection of 151,000 artworks will be accessible to the public from 2021 in Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, but in the meantime parts of the collection will be shown in schools in Rotterdam. Dozens of unique works of art have been selected to be taken to classrooms by art handlers and museum docents. A first for Rotterdam and the Dutch museum world. Boijmans in the Classroom has been made possible by individual donors.
“ ‘Boijmans in the Classroom provides an opportunity to see world-class artworks in your own classroom, giving an extra dimension to how art can be experienced. It is wonderful that this project has been made possible.’”
Sjarel Ex, director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Art + docent in the classroom
From next month, primary and secondary schools in the Rotterdam area can choose from a range of ‘Boijmans in the Classroom’ lessons. Paulo the Parrot will visit the youngest children with sculptures of animals. Older pupils can choose between seventeenth-century artefacts, Surrealist artworks or Conceptual art. Several lessons were tested last month at the Globetrotter primary school in Katendrecht.
“For our school, Rotterdam is our classroom, and ‘Boijmans in the Classroom’ gives us the opportunity to bring the city into the school. It’s a win-win situation for us: we get teaching materials from outside the school and art becomes more ‘real’, and we don’t even have to travel for it.”
Jorn van Dam, deputy director Globetrotter primary school.
Pilot: tailor-made partnerships
Alongside the lessons in the classroom, the museum is experimenting with other approaches. As a pilot scheme, the museum has established a partnership with pupils at De Theater HAVO/VWO, a school for theatre and film studies. During the recent National Museum Week, third-year design students curated an exhibition with twenty objects from the collection. The museum is exploring how to establish similar partnerships with other schools.
Boijmans in Transit
Over the course of 170 years, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam has built a world-class collection of 151,000 artworks. The museum moved into its current building in the Museumpark In 1935. Many decades and millions of visitors later, the building is in dire need of large-scale renovation and modernisation. The museum is reaching out to share its internationally renowned collection with the public in Rotterdam and further afield. It has entered into a unique partnership with eight neighbouring arts venues under the name Boijmans Next Door and is organising touring exhibitions abroad. In the meantime, the construction of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen continues. The world’s first publicly accessible arts storage facility will open in 2021 and will house all 151,000 artworks.