It’s National (Digital) Museum Week

Philips Museum, EIndhoven
You may not be able to physically visit a museum during National Museum week this year, but you can do so virtually. Photo Credit: Philips Museum (Studio040)

The world’s topsy-turvy at the moment. But, institutions are also coming up with innovative ways to make things more ‘normal’. Like getting people to visit museums all over the country. From their couches.

This week’s National Museum Week in the Netherlands. Instead of cancelling the event, more than 400 museums across the country are offering virtual tours and other events. This year’s slogan is “Ontdek samen– juist nu – ons échte goud. In vrijheid.” (“Discover our true gold together, especially now. In Freedom.”) Locally, these are some of the museums participating:

Van Abbe Museum’s offering several ‘tours’. Mini-documentaries – ‘Qiu Zhijie: Journeys without Arrivals’. This is an overview of Qiu Zhijie’s work from 1985 onwards. Zhijie’s one of the most important Chinese artists of his generation. Please note, not all the audio’s in English.

There’s one on Rasheed Araeen too. His work was on display in the Van Abbemuseum in 2017-2018. The Pakistani-British artist and curator, Nick Aikens, talk about the works, which have had a profound influence on generations of artists, writers, and thinkers. This entire clip’s in English.

With their Meerstemmige (Polyphonic) Collection’ project, ‘visitors’ can look at artworks over the shoulders of various Eindhoven residents. These visitors share their spontaneous observations. Again not all the audio’s in English. Or you could just take a tour of the Van Abbe Museum on your own.

For the kids, the PreHistoric Village has three colouring pages. They also have all sorts of fun activities for children, and their parents, to do at home. From making cheese to building shelters. You can find descriptions (in Dutch) of these on their Facebook page. Philips Museum‘s also digitally open to visitors.

You can take a virtual tour of the Van Gogh House in neighbouring Neuen too. Or why not visit a museum somewhere else in the country. Somewhere you’d usually not go. You could, for example, take a virtual tour of the Groninger Museum in Groningen. There are more online extras on the National Museum Week’s website. Please note, much of the audio will be in Dutch.

Show your showpiece

This website also contains Pronkstukken (Showpieces), ranging from ancient helmets to pencil drawing, and everything in between. This year, people are invited to share their own works of art. This is part of the digital Gouden Pronkstuk op de Dam! You, and the participating museums, can pay tribute to 75 years of cultural freedom. People can upload their photos, and information about it, on the National Museum Week website.

There are also prizes up for grabs. You have a chance to win a Museum Card, a museum shopping package or a VIP package for two people to a museum of your choice. Since it’s 75 years of cultural freedom, there are 75 prizes to be won.

Source: National Museum Week and Brainport

Translation: Melinda Walraven

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