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SBMK & Boijmans: 'Opening up! Collection Centre Strategies'

As a museum professional, how often have you invited a visitor into your museum’s storage facility? Probably never. As a museum visitor, how often have you thought: ‘I’d really like to see the works in storage? Undoubtedly very often. Museum storage facilities have traditionally been invisible and inaccessible to the public, usually housed in anonymous warehouses outside the city or in cellars beneath the museum’s building. But there have been changes in recent years.

The Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen have organised the online event Opening Up! Collection Centre Strategies about interesting international developments in the field of museum storage on Friday 28 May. An iconic example is the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, which will open in the autumn of 2021. This storage facility will be fully accessible to the public and occupies a prominent position, right next to the museum. The Netherlands is not alone in developing new ideas about preserving collections and opening them up to the public.

Program and speakers

An international panel of six speakers will share their experiences of combining collection care with public access within their storage facility. How did they conceive and design the building? To what extent is it publicly accessible? How do they guarantee the safety of the collections? And how do they approach their visitors? The symposium will conclude with a round-table discussion with all speakers. As a participant, you will be actively involved in the online event: there will be lots of time for questions and comments from the international audience. The event will have a strong visual component with videos of the buildings’ architecture and internal layouts. 

It is an English-language Online Event, which takes place on Friday 28 May between 15:00 and 18:00 CET.

You can find the full program here.


Participation in Opening up! Collection Center Strategies costs €25. Students pay €12.50. Both types of tickets can be bought via the link below. If applicable, please send a copy of your student card to aanmelden@sbmk.nl when you have bought a student ticket. The symposium is free for a number of museum employees who pay an annual contribution to the SBMK. Click here for the conditions.

In the week of the event, you will receive the zoom link for the webinar from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen by email.

Buy your ticket