‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus - pioneers of a new world’
9 February 2019 - 26 May 2019
Before work starts on the ambitious programme of renovating and refurbishing the museum, we are pulling out all the stops again. In February 2019, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen kicks off the Bauhaus centenary with a huge exhibition about the legendary art and design school, whose influence is felt to this day.
For the first time, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam spotlights the Dutch Bauhaus network in a wide-ranging retrospective, revealing over sixty artists, designers, architects and other intermediaries from the Netherlands who were personally and artistically involved with the Bauhaus and vice versa between 1919 and 1933. ‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus: pioneers of a new world’ is being staged in the 1,500m2 Bodon Gallery and features almost eight hundred objects and works, a great many being shown for the first time. A book of twenty essays on ‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus’ is being published to coincide with the exhibition, along with an interactive guided tour, and Bauhaus-related events staged at locations all over Rotterdam.
‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus: pioneers of a new world’ shows the Bauhaus’s influence in the Netherlands and vice versa. The desire for innovation, idealism, ambitions and creativity – all characteristic of the Bauhaus’s thinking that was disseminated throughout the world. Without social media and present-day technology, these ideas spread through a network of individuals, exhibitions, magazines, conferences, training courses and workshops – not only in Germany, but in the Netherlands, too, particularly after the Bauhaus closed in 1933. The Dutch were active in this network from the start. In the years between the two world wars, Rotterdam was where Modernism found its greatest expression in architecture and design. In ‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus’ every visitor will be given a small tablet revealing the links behind the exhibition.
The inspiring relationship between the Netherlands and Bauhaus will be illustrated by artworks, furniture, ceramics, textiles, photographs, typography and architecture. Two hundred of the eight hundred works in the exhibition come from the museum’s own collection. Six hundred are loans and will be coming from more than sixty lenders from the Netherlands and abroad.
Walter Gropius (the founder of the Bauhaus) wrote in the original Bauhaus manifesto: "Architects, sculptors, painters, we all must return to the crafts! For there is no such thing as ‘professional art’. There is no essential difference between he artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies."
A book edited by exhibition curator Mienke Simon Thomas and the design historian Yvonne Brentjens, with contributions by twenty authors from Germany and the Netherlands and featuring a hundred important works from the exhibition, is being published to coincide with the exhibition. It will be available in English and Dutch, in the Museum Shop and online for € 34.95 from 9 February.
Pop-up installation & Cross-Over
While the exhibition is running, interactive pop-up Bauhaus installations will appear in at least four unusual locations in Rotterdam. It is being created by seventeen fourth-year students studying Interior Architecture & Furniture Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KAKB) in The Hague. In collaboration with some of our partners, including Scapino Ballet and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, there will be an additional programme inspired by the historic Bauhaus with mini-lectures, Bauhaus music and theatre, performances and workshops.
The exhibition is made possible in part by the support of the BankGiro Loterij, the Blockbusterfonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (thanks in part to the Breeman Talle Fonds), the Goethe Institute, Stichting Gifted Art, the Boijmans Business Club, Boijmans Corporate Members, the Van Eyck Circle, Rotterdam Partners and Rotterdam City Council. Lenders include the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal, the Klassikstiftung in Weimar, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in the US, the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and ten private collectors.
Transit Boijmans Van Beuningen
From 2019 onwards, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be in transit. When the museum shuts for renovation in the early summer of 2019, the collection will remain accessible to the public in a variety of ways. Seven museums and art institutions in Rotterdam will stage exhibitions of artworks from the museum’s collection. The collection will also be seen abroad. The museum’s book collection is being transferred to Rotterdam City Archives. Rotterdam’s schools will be surprised by Boijmans in the Classroom, an educational programme involving real artworks. We are also working hard on a location in Rotterdam Zuid, an experimental space for young visitors.
Meanwhile, the construction of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is in full swing. The world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility will open its doors in Rotterdam in 2021.