The rehousing of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of more than 151,000 artworks to the new depot has begun. The works are being moved to their new home from five external temporary storage locations in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The nearly empty and almost colourless depot building will now begin to come alive, filling up with more and more artworks, day after day. Ultimately, the collection, which has been assembled over a period of 172 years, will be housed and preserved for the first time in a single location.
You can follow the rehousing of the collection on our website. We will be recording the ‘military operation’ and the behind-the-scenes process in images and statistics and introduce you to the various members of the depot team who take care of the collection day in and day out.
The depot is unique. It is a new museum typology, where different laws and rules apply. It is the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility and will open its doors to the public on Saturday, 6 November 2021.
The scale of the rehousing is enormous. Dealing with over 151,000 objects means you simply can’t operate at a micro level. After all, the entire collection is being moved in one go, over a period of about four months. This page tells you all you need to know about the grand scale and logistics of this operation.Read more
In the depot, the object is central. There is no hierarchy, as there is in a museum, and the artworks are mixed together. They are given a place on the basis of the materials they are made from, not on the basis of art-historical value or significance.Read more
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s entire collection, which is the result of 172 years of collecting, will be preserved and cared for in the depot. All the works will be housed together, creating juxtapositions and cross connections that have never existed before.Read more
To ensure the move goes smoothly, a large team will be working in the depot seven days a week. There are twenty-four people to unpack the objects, six registrars and three coordinators, working on a rota system, supported by a team of art handlers and security staff. Part of this team will continue to work in the depot after the move.Read more