Skip to content


Rijksmuseum puts names to our slavery past and the effect is stunning

It is very easy not to dwell on things. For instance, I learned at school that we sailed to the East to get nutmeg and pepper. Stuff that just rolled off the trees into the boats there and that we could sell very expensively here. Sugar, another thing. That came to us from plantations just like that,... 

Theatrical installation looking at current events from the Maroons' perspective, this summer at Plein Theatre

Swart Gat/ Golden Age (Dunguu olo - katibo-ten) is a theatrical installation about Amsterdam's slavery past and Maroon culture from Suriname. The concept is by Tolin Erwin Alexander, Berith Danse and designer Bartel Meyburg. The theatrical installation, which has lost none of its urgency, has been further finished and will start again in summer 2021! From 17 June (19 June... 

'This new law means even more obstacles and restrictions for visiting culture.'

Honourable members of the House of Representatives, It is with great concern that we look at the Temporary Test Act that will be voted on in your House on Tuesday 11 May. This new law means even more hurdles and restrictions for visiting culture. Restrictions that will be introduced but where the end date is not given. This new testing law could be a godsend for... 

Museum directors: is their role as figureheads and media artists becoming more important than as art history experts?

Dutch museums, partly due to the recent digital Museum Week, have been able to retain a large part of their audience. There is - reports the Museum Association on its website - a slight turnover though. And the hitherto loyal public will not find their way to museums automatically and to the same extent. But the picture is that the... 

'Monument to BKR' shows how well an income scheme for artists can work

With 'A monument to the BKR', Fransje Kuyvenhoven has indeed written a tribute in her "history of a high-profile artists' scheme (1949-1987 )". If only because the first hundred pages contain no text, but a chronological showcase of artworks from the BKR. By Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant, Lucebert, Jan Wolkers, Kees van Bohemen, Ger Lataster, Armando, among others. And because there are... 

One-half meter art is an economic disaster. But it is also a godsend. Turn it into a lottery.

As a professional art visitor, I rarely find myself in empty halls. Premieres are always full, so are press viewings and vernissages. Full is of course really cool. Although those full rooms I am in then usually cost more money than they bring in, because the tickets are free and the drinks on the house. Outside the premiere, but especially outside the premiere city, the... 

And so the chain falls over. Why the interdependence of the arts creates long-term cultural barrenness.

Utrecht-based theatre group Aluin is in dire straits. Like all other theatre companies, they cannot do their work, and performances have been postponed or cancelled. That it does not only apply to ongoing tours is now apparent. Performances scheduled for autumn and next spring have also been cancelled. The company reports this in a press release. Alum would... 

Culture ministry's support package is a joke. Why a culture strike is needed. And easier than ever.

Slowly but surely, the absurdity of the rescue measures for the cultural sector is sinking in. The national museums will not have to pay rent for three months for a while, but will have to pay it back retroactively once the crisis is over. Entrepreneurs can get extra support worth 4,000 euros, provided they have business premises outside their homes. Actors, directors (also freelance journalists, by the way) and artists... 

Why measuring leads to knowing less and measuring even more. On the futility of trend reports and indices

They have learned something at Boekman. The foundation, which since this year has had the honour of managing the culture index, understands that trend graphs say precious little. We have observed this several times on this site, and the researchers now confirm this wholeheartedly. So this year the club is doing things differently. For the past few months, sixty wise men and women have been... 

'Too much arbitrariness in heritage law'. Pechtold committee wants us to take our cultural heritage seriously.

We treat our cultural heritage too casually. This is evident from the report 'Reserved and Involved', presented on Monday 30 September, drawn up by the Pechtold committee at the request of minister Van Engelshoven. In 110 pages (with pictures), it says that the current design of the Heritage Act leads to arbitrariness and uncertainty. This means that unsavoury situations like... 

An app won't get you there. Why the minister should make archiving all arts mandatory

The heritage sector is not the sexiest sector of the Dutch cultural world. Even though nude exhibitions are flying around your ears this season, you're more likely to think of obscure museums, monuments, stamp collections, old stuff. This is how it happened that the Digital Heritage Netherlands Foundation could exist for almost 25 years without anyone in the 'more popular' arts (stage, film, literature)... 

Sex sells, originality does not. Once again, two museums go out of their way to celebrate nudity.

When we don't have fresh, current posts on the site for a while, our 'most-read posts' list on the right always changes dramatically. Within two days, all stories are trending that include the words 'nude', 'nude' or 'sex'. After all, sex sells. If you like clicks from rutting men, at least. Unfortunately, this particular target group does not read much cultural news. But attention is... 

A museum with impact. How museums can raise historical awareness and offer people comfort, perspective and connection

More than a million Dutch people feel very lonely, according to the Health Monitor 2012. Among them are an increasing number of young people - all social media notwithstanding. Perhaps we could stop this 'loneliness epidemic' if we realised that none of us is really alone. What we so often forget is that we are directly connected to thousands of others: the people... 

Where is Norman Rockwell when you need him? Ode to The Grumpy Hallkeeper, the Peanut Butter Floor and Ms Koons

Classic joke about the attendant: "Proudly, the Rijksmuseum's new attendant reports to the museum management at the end of his first working day. 'Mr director, I think you will be pleased with me. I have already sold two Picassos and one Apple today!' " (Source: Thus illustrating the supposed relationship of the traditional attendant to the modern... 

At last: a piece with real vision from the Culture Council

'Successive interventions have stripped, juridified and amended the BIS and the state funds. But more importantly than that, trends and developments in and around cultural life are making new demands on the cultural system. It is out of date in several respects.' So says the Council for Culture in its 'reconnaissance' published today. In it, the contours of the future... 

New Cabinet confirms with agreement culture line Rutte I and II

The Rutte III Cabinet is finally in place after long negotiations. It is a cabinet that will govern in financial prosperity, but that prosperity applies to a very limited extent to the Arts & Culture sector. Step by step, the cabinet will work towards an extra 80 million euros for the Culture sector from 2020, it says. But if this were to be enough... 

Museum Association juggles numbers. (Why all our museums are doing great)

Museums in the Netherlands are doing well. Today, the Museum Association released a kind of annual report in which this was made abundantly clear in tables and graphs. Visits are increasing. Between 2015 and 2016, the sector counted 2.5 million more visits. Mainly by foreign tourists. At the same time, more and more museums are running at a loss. According to the Museum Association, that negative balance now hits for... 

Cornelis de Vos, portrait of Abraham Grapheus (detail, author's photo)

Southern neighbours at the Mauritshuis: you'll never look at portraits the same again

You know that? That sometimes you look at the caption longer than at the painting? And then especially at who the artist is, because we don't usually know the person portrayed anyway? The Flemish portraits in the exhibition Zuiderburen at the Mauritshuis intelligently turn that around. But first, more on the Mauritshuis' extensive collaboration 

In search of Carthage. Drawings by Elisa Pesapane at the National Museum of Antiquities

In the commission given to artist Elisa Pesapane by the National Museum of Antiquities, her passions came together: drawing, antiquity, research and portraiture. From today, twelve drawings about 'le solitaire des ruines': the military engineer Jean Emile Humbert, in search of the city of Carthage, are on display at the RMO. Portrait Italian-Dutch artist Elisa Pesapane (b. 1977) is, among other things,... 

Hippos on a temple wall

In Leiden, ancient Egypt feels pretty close

As a boy, I loved visiting the Egyptian department of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden. Half in the twilight, the mysterious mummy coffins there stared at me. We are now several decades and exhibits further on. Since this week, the newest Egypt display has been open. Even in brilliant light, the collection appears to retain its fascinating power. At the same time, the museum tells in Queens... 

Small Membership
175 / 12 Maanden
Especially for organisations with a turnover or grant of less than 250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
5 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Large Membership
360 / Jaar
Voor culturele organisaties
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
10 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Private Membership
50 / Jaar
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Own mastodon account on our instance
en_GBEnglish (UK)