Boijmans in Transit

Museum in flux during forthcoming renovation works

The collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam has grown over a period of 170 years into a world-class collection of 151,000 artworks. The museum moved to its current location on the Museumpark in 1935. Many decades and millions of visitors later, the building is in need of radical renovation. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen hopes that the renovations will go ahead in their most ambitious form. This would mean that the museum’s current buildings will be restored to their former glory, to meet today’s demands and be prepared for the future. The museum forms an ensemble with the new Depot and the Museumpark and its neighbouring museums. As is clear from the report published this week, Rotterdam’s Council for Art & Culture fully supports this future scenario. The Rotterdam Municipal Executive is also positive about the plans. The City Council is expected to decide on the definitive scope of the rebuilding plans before the end of the year.

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In 2019, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will close its doors in order to facilitate renovations and rebuilding. This will happen in phases. Art lovers have the chance until 14 January 2019 to see the collection in its current display ‘The Collection as Time Machine’. The old Van der Steur building will close in phases in January and February for renovation. The collection will be moved to external storage facilities.


Until 26 May 2019, the public has the opportunity to see several exhibitions, including a major Bauhaus exhibition and a selection of highlights from the collection in the modern Bodon building. And even when all the museum’s doors close in June 2019 and the renovations begin, the collection will not be completely out of sight…

During the transition period

During the renovations, a large part of the collection will remain accessible to the public. Seven neighbouring museums will make exhibitions under the name ‘Boijmans Next Door’, partially made possible by Stichting Droom en Daad. Masterpieces from the collection will continue to be seen abroad in the form of special travelling exhibitions. For example, an exhibition entitled ‘The Best of Boijmans’ is planned to visit leading museums around the world. The museum’s collection of books will be transferred to the Rotterdam City Archives. Under the name ‘Boijmans in the Classroom’, we are preparing an exhibition programme for Rotterdam’s schools in which real artworks play a role. We are working hard on a location in Rotterdam Zuid, where we plan to open an experimental space for young visitors in 2020. And finally, the construction of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot is in full swing. This iconic building and the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility will open its doors in the Museumpark in 2021.

Iwan Smit infographic English
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Iwan Smit infographic English

About Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The world-renowned art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has over the span of 170 years expanded to more than 151,000 artefacts, which includes some 63,000 paintings, photos, films, pre-industrial design and design objects, contemporary art installations and sculptures, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings.

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