Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

I'm one of those people that has to read a book or magazine
from start to finish.  I used to approach a museum visit in the same way.
You start at the beginning and follow the map, stopping at each piece of 
art to read the placard before moving on to the next.

I quickly learned that this just doesn't work.
A museum is like a book of poetry.  It's best if you just relax and flip through,
stopping when something catches your eye or speaks to you.
Each and every time you revisit the poetry book or museum,
you will have a completely different experience.

Grosse Geister Schutte Boijmans Musuem Rotterdam

Grosse Geister (Figur Nr. 8)  1997 by Thomas Schutte

The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam is a museum that I would love to visit over and over.
This one ranks right up there in the top three museums that I've visited.

It is just the most comfortable space.
The rooms are open, not too big or too small.
The lighting is perfect.
Each area has the just the right balance of classical and modern pieces.
It's not cluttered and overwhelming.

They've managed to strike the perfect balance of architecture and art.
I could have spent hours wandering through.

Baroque Egg Jeff Koons Boijmans Museum Rotterdam
Baroque Egg by Jeff Koons
Our first stop was the Espresso Bar for a quick coffee and overview of the Museum.
Then it was to the Merry Go Round Coat Rack to hang up our coats.
The guide pointed to the hangers above our heads and encouraged us to figure out 
how this huge contraption works.

Merry Go Round Coat Rack at Boijmans in Rotterdam

I'm not going to spill.  You will have to figure it out on your own.
But, it was a lot of fun and we could have played here for an hour.
But it was time to visit the Infinity Mirror Room

Infinity Mirror Room Yoyoi Kusama Boijmans Museum
Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli's Field by Yayoi Kusama
As we entered this small, mirrored room, there were dots as far as the eye could see.
Originally, visitors were meant to lie down on the polka dotted pillows to really
experience the space.  Unfortunately, a few mirrors were broken
along the way, so we weren't able to lay around in the room.

Infinity Mirror Room Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

I once had the most vivid dream where I lived in a house with a special hammock room.
The floor of the large room was all netting and there were pillows thrown about
and a big screen TV.
Imagine my delight when I encountered my dream as a reality.

Let Your Hair Down by Pipolotti Rist Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

It was so much fun to crawl up into the room.  The permanent installation
at the top of the stairwell is called Let Your Hair Down by Pipolotti Rist.
There is a dreamlike video playing above your head. 
I didn't want to leave.  Although is was fun to slide down the netting to get out.

Temporary Exhibit Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Everything that we'd seen so far at the entrance of the museum is free and open to the public, including several rooms for temporary exhibits, a restaurant and a museum shop.
The perfect way to spend an hour or two if you're on a budget.

A visit to the rest of the extensive collection is  €12.50 for adults,
€6.25 for students and free for children up to 18 years old. 

With a busy schedule, we weren't there for very long.
We had a guided tour of some of the highlights by a
well-informed and very patient guide.
Visually and aesthetically, the space is perfect.
My camera was in heaven.

Modern Sculpture Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Modern Sculpture Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Modern Art Installation Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

Courtyard Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

This was my favorite room.  I dallied here for quite some time and almost lost my group.
Even on a cloudy day, the lighting was perfect.

Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Sculpture Rodin Boijmans Rotterdam

The room also included a piece by one of my favorite sculptors, Auguste Rodin.

Flames Maquiladora Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Flames Maquiladora at Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

Flames Maquiladora Boijmans Rotterdam

In 1849, the attorney Boijmans left his art collection to the City of Rotterdam.
In 1958 it acquired another large collection resulting in the name
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
It is one of the oldest museums in Holland
and contains Dutch and European artwork from the Middle Ages to today.   

Light Fixtures at Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

Little Boy Boijmans Rotterdam

Museum Boijmans Van Beiningen Rotterdam

Local architect, Van der Steur designed the perfect space for the collection which opened in 1935.  It survived a bombing in the 40's and has been extended over the years.

Untitled (Manhole) Maurizio Cattelan Boijmans Rotterdam

We entered a room featuring the Dutch Romantics, to find this guy crawling up from the floor.
Italian artist, Maurizio Cattelan tore a hole in the floor and placed a sculpture of himself peering up into the room.

Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam

 I walked into one room and this piece below was at the far end and it just pulled me into it.

Dinner of Friends Charley Toorop Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Charley Toorop was a Dutch painter and this is a collection of her family and friends that she  painted in 1932-33.  I love the vivid colors and the intensity of their gazes.

Restaurant Boijmans Museum Rotterdam

Gardens Boijmans Rotterdam

After our short tour, we had a light lunch of soup and sandwiches in the restaurant overlooking the beautiful gardens.  It was such a relaxing morning.
I'm completely in love with this museum (if you couldn't tell.)

Every city has different attractions, something for everyone.
Some of them are enough to draw you to a city
and some you just make time to visit if you happen to be there.
It's different for everyone.

This museum will always draw me to Rotterdam.

What draws you to Rotterdam?


This visit was complimentary as a part of the TBU post-conference blog trip "Off the Beaten Path" hosted by Rotterdam Marketing and Holland Tourism.
All opinions and photographs are completely my own. 


  1. What a cool and unique museum! I can certainly see why this would be a frequent visit!

  2. I'd love to visit this museum - it looks like this art would totally be my cup of tea!

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  4. Jade, you should definitely try to get there. It had such a great feel to it. xoxo

  5. Jay, I didn't want to leave. I'm not usually to keen on modern art, but it was really interesting stuff and not too much of it. A really good combination.

  6. I agree that trying to see and read everything at once in a museum is just overwhelming and diminishes the experience.

  7. Selena, I love the photos you took of the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum! I spent all day there yesterday and it was the most wonderful experience of an art gallery I've had in years. You are absolutely right about the lighting and the design of the gallery - perfect for taking it all in. I spent most of my time with the masterpieces - van Gogh and Rembrandt and Bosch and van Dyck and Magritte... and on and on! The other treat was being able to amble about without the huge crowds that are so much a part of visiting masterpiece-rich art galleries nowadays. There was also some fantastic modern art, including an ingenious installation with models of soldiers and gorillas and trees and sundry other items stuck to a cleverly lit conveyor belt, which cast shadows of these objects on three walls. As the objects moved, the relationship between them evolved and told a story of war, evolution, life and death! It was fascinating and fun! I, too, am absolutely in love with this museum. Continued happy travels.

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