2021: A year in which Boijmans gave Rotterdam worldwide allure

The new depot of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was opened in 2021 amidst Royal words and praise. Despite all the restrictions, the museum has been able to keep the faith, set up dozens of successful projects, acquire grants, strengthen links with donors and enjoy praise far beyond the borders - with the people of Rotterdam firmly in the spotlight.

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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen 

- On Friday 5 November, His Majesty the King opened the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, designed by MVRDV, in the Rotterdam Museum Park.  

- The depot, the first publicly accessible art depot in the world, opened its doors to the public on 6 November, 4.5 years after the first brick was laid, and received 41.000 visitors until lockdown. 

- The depot was mentioned more than 1500 times in the media (print/web/radio/tv) with a circulation reach in excess of 1 billion. The depot enjoyed major articles in all large and small newspapers and in many magazines, including extended photo reports and/or interviews in Het Blad of NRC, Holland Herald, National Geographic, Quest and Volkskrant Magazine. Thanks to the good collaboration with and the amazing efforts of the international pr agency Pickles Pr, Rotterdam Partners and MVRDV, the depot was reported in the international media in more than 30 countries, with highlights including an international press conference attended by 63 journalists and a live Zoom conference with China that was attended by 70 journalists representing Chinese media. In 2021, the depot was also featured in The Guardian, The Economist, El País, De Morgen, Süddeutscher  Zeitung, Il Sole 24 Ore and Les Echos and appeared on the front page of internationally renowned media such as The New York Times.  

- The transfer of the art collection, totalling more than 151,000 objects from five external depots to the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is now 95% complete.  

- The four restoration studios have been taken into use. Here, preparatory work for loans is carried out, for example for the exhibition 'À la campagne' at the Fries Museum. In addition, a start has been made on a variety of research projects and a partnership formed with the RCR project programme 'Heritage of the twentieth century'. 

- The corporate collections of Lakeside Capital Partners and Rabobank, together with the art collection of KPN, all now have their own depot compartment, after renting one of the private depot areas.  

- Together with Mourad El Moussati – Connector Equality at R'damse Nieuwe and founder of Sollicitatiemarkt [Job Application Market] – a start has been made in the search for thirteen Rotterdammers who want to take on the role of depot guide. In just ten days, more than 500 applications flooded in. 

- The outdoor exhibition 'R E F L E C T I E S' [Reflections] attracted hundreds of people who have sent in their visual reflections on the depot. 52 winners and their work can be seen in the Rotterdam outdoor exhibition. 

- On 28 August, a skate event was organised with the Rotterdam Council and the Dutch skate label Pop Trading Company in the Museum Park in Rotterdam. A skate installation by Boris Telegen (Delta), was presented.   

- On 28 May, the international symposium 'Opening Up! Collection Centre Strategies' was held in partnership with Stichting Behoud Moderne Kunst [Modern Art Preservation Foundation]. Six international speakers shared their experiences about the combination of caring for the collection and the public function of a museum depot. The symposium attracted participants from all over the world. 

- Thursday 21 January saw the première of the film Bouwgrond on the Boijmans YouTube channel.  

- In the photo studio, recordings were made for the forthcoming Boijmans Study about the design collection (authored by former curator Mienke Simon Thomas) and the first research photos were made of Van Gogh's Populierenlaan bij Nuenen [Poplars near Nuenen].  

- Piet van der Slikke and Sandra Swelheim, together with contributions from the Boijmans Business Club and the Kring van Eyck [the Van Eyck Circle], enabled the installation of Pipilotti Rist's light art work 'Het leven verspillen aan jou' at the foot of the depot. 

- The entrance area by John Körmeling was taken into use. 

- The construction of the depot, the entrance area and the display cases were made possible thanks to main sponsor Stichting De Verre Bergen [De Verre Bergen Foundation].   

- The stairs in the atrium of the depot were completed, with thanks to the VriendenLoterij. 

- The event area Coert was completed, with thanks to the Asahi Shimbun. 

- The four restoration studios were made possible by: Mr and Mrs Schoufour-Martin (wood restoration studio); Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds [Elise Mathilde Fund] (multifunctional restoration studio); Erasmusstichting [Erasmus Foundation] (paper restoration studio); Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht on behalf of the Swart-van Essen Fund (painting restoration studio) 

- The app which makes a visit to the depot even more interesting was made possible thanks to the support of ICT partner KPN, VSBfonds and Zabawas Foundation. 

- The depot received the Glass Award 2021, Architectenweb Awards 2021, ARC21 Architecture Award and was proclaimed the best public building in the Netherlands 

- The well-known Rotterdam chef Jim de Jong became head chef of the restaurant on the top floor. In August, De Jong set to work for the 'Renilde' restaurant, named after former curator Renilde Hammacher-van den Brande (1913-2014). Hall Coert, named after former director Coert Ebbinge Wubben (1915-2014), is the event venue. 

- Architect Bureau Concrete designed the Renilde restaurant and Coert and included special collapsible tables. 

 - The depot app is now fully developed and has been downloaded more than 12,000 times. It reveals the stories behind the art works in the depot. The public can scan the QR codes on the showcases and the depots, view the interactive visual stories and make their own digital collections. 

- A presentation about the 'making of' the depot and a presentation about the renovation with a time-line of the museum building since 1849 could be seen when the doors to the depot opened.   

- The Rotterdam label Studio Markx of fashion designer Saskia Markx designed the uniforms for the depot. The clothing is produced sustainably by By Rockland. Markx based the design of the uniforms for the depot employees on traditional lab coats and work jackets. This is not just a reference to the traditional skills that are necessary for making art, but also for managing it. 

- The showcases by Marieke van Diemen have been completed and fitted out with collection items as thirteen small presentations. King Willem-Alexander stands with Rodin's 'Eva' in the showcase. 

- As 2021 drew to a close, the recently opened depot had to close due to the pandemic. 

- In addition to Main Sponsor Stichting De Verre Bergen, the depot also had a group of Founders who have made a valuable contribution to the completion of the depot's interior. We would like to thank VriendenLoterij, The Asahi Shimbun, Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds, Peterson and Control Union, Mr and Mrs Schoufour-Martin, Piet van der Slikke and Sandra Swelheim, Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht on behalf of Swart-van Essen Fonds, Erasmusstichting, KPN, VSBfonds, Jurgen and Carin Stegmann-Overzier, G.Ph. Verhagen-Stichting, Familie Verweij-Engelaer, Nedspice, Rotterdam Port Authority, Bruynzeel Storage Systems, PwC, RSM | Audit | Tax | Consulting. 

- Since the construction, more than a thousand mirrors have been adopted. This year, an additional 111 private individuals and companies will adopt a mirror in the façade and dedicate this to a loved one or a fine memory. Anyone who adopts ten or more mirrors has their name listed next to one of the trees on the roof.

Boijmans Hillevliet 

- In 2020, a listening post was set up in Rotterdam-Zuid, in the Feijenoord district, in the former technical college at Hillevliet 90, where educational workshops, after-school lessons for primary school children and presentations are given in collaboration with the neighbourhood. Talent development also takes place here. With support from Fonds 21, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Zuid Holland, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandtstichting, Stichting Saphir, Members of Associations can start new projects and programmes such as a monthly open house. 

- The new Instagram account @boijmanshillevliet shares messages about the partnership with the neighbourhood, young creatives and pupils from Rotterdam-Zuid.  

- Boijmans is also providing, in the context of equal opportunities and the Rotterdam Zuid National Programme, after-school art lessons for primary school pupils.  

- 422 occupational students at ROC Zadkine took part in 'Boijmans in the Class' workshops in preparation for KUNST/WERK, the professional programme that, together with ROC Zadkine, strengthens the links between occupational education and the culture sector.  

- The educational projects at Hillevliet, occupational and primary schools, were discussed around 40 times in the media, with a circulation/reach of more than 10.6 million. 

- Illustrator and DJ Franky Sticks captured the Hillevliet neighbourhood in a fifteen-metre wide panoramic mural in Boijmans Hillevliet in Rotterdam-Zuid. 

- Children's workshops were organised each week in the summer holidays and featured a Youth Holiday Passport. For this, Rotterdam-Zuid partnered artist Kwinnie Lê, who made flags with the children with which they represented themselves.   

Boijmans in transit programme 

- Thanks to Boijmans in the Classroom, children in the Rotterdam region can continue to see the famous Boijmans collection.  From September 2019 to the summer of 2021 - despite the temporary closure of the schools - around 290 classes were visited and items from the collection were, thanks to a Mercedes Sprinter pickup made available by Rogam Bedrijfswagens, transported to the schools.  In total, 6862 primary and secondary school pupils became acquainted with the Boijmans collection. 

- More than 180 surrealist masterpieces set off on a world tour under the title 'A Surreal Shock. Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen'. It got under way at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand. Despite a lockdown and further restrictions, the exhibition attracted 75,000 visitors - 1 in 65 New Zealanders saw the exhibition. The second location, the Seoul Arts Center (SAC) in South Korea attracted 9,000 visitors in its opening week. 

- For the third and last edition of KUNST/WERK, made possible thanks to support from Fonds21, Stichting Van Leeuwen van Lignac and Stichting Dorodarte, and entitled Revaluation Lab, 25 students training as Logistics and Junior product manager in fashion mounted an exhibition in breeding ground De Wasserij in Rotterdam. 

- Fifteen paintings by Henk Chabot from the museum collection have been made available on long-term loan to the adjacent Chabot Museum.  

- The eleventh and last exhibition of Boijmans Next Door opened in the Maritime Museum: Maritime Masterpieces. Other Boijmans Next Door exhibitions still on view include 'Art means everything' - Chabot Museum, 'Remix Rotterdam' - World museum, 'Human images - strength & vulnerability' Erasmus MC and a fragment of 'Forging together - Masters in Silver' at the Tax & Customs Museum. These exhibitions are, thanks to a generous donation by Droom en Daad Foundation mounted by Boijmans for its partners in Rotterdam and create special partnerships, new interactions, context and knowledge. Since the start, 289 articles have appeared about the exhibitions and the projects, with a media value of more than 1.6 million and a circulation reach of nearly 60 million. Until now, the programme has attracted - despite four lockdowns due to corona measures - more than 450,000 visitors.  

- The art project 'The Human Power Plant' by artists such as Melle Smets has been taking place since 2020 thanks to the support of Project Idols*. A partnership between the council, the neighbourhood and Boijmans around the energy transition and poverty reduction.

- Together with artist Nilton Moreira da Silva, Zadkine students mounted an exhibition to bring art and human beings closer together. From16 to 30 April at Zadkine on location and via the Boijmans Instagram

- The online exhibition 'De afbreekeconomie' [The breakdown economy] can be visited virtually.  This can be seen from April to December via the website of Boijmans. The exhibition was made possible thanks to contributions from the Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industry Fund. At the invitation of the museum, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros, Koehorst in 't Veld and Atelier Van Lieshout displayed ideas for an alternative production chain. The installation could also be followed via Boijmans Instagram.   

- Sandra Smet researched art and artists in the Second World War for the multi-year project 'Kunst en leven tussen de ruïnes' [Art and life among the ruins]. This project has resulted in a publication, presentation and a crowd sourcing project in 2023. The research and the project were made possible thanks to the support of the Mondriaan Fund, Stichting 't Trekpaert and Stichting de Leeuwenberg.  

- A large outdoor exhibition, entitled 'Are we safe now?' was mounted at the vaccination centre of the GGD near the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. Six artists reacted to covid-19 by means of six large public art works. This was a partnership with the Rotterdam art podium Murals Inc. and CBK Rotterdam. 'Are we safe now' was seen by thousands of people. 

 Corporate Boijmans Van Beuningen 

- The institutions in the Rotterdam Cultural Basis actively focus on greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Boijmans signed the Diversity Charter, together with seven other Rotterdam cultural institutes. 

- A start has been made on the asbestos remediation and other maintenance work for the monumental museum building after ten years of overdue maintenance to the municipal building. 

- Rotterdam Council voted on 16 December for the renovation of the museum. The prognosis is that the renovated museum will open its doors in 2029.  

- In total, around 329 works were added to the Museum collection. The vast majority are donations or on long-term loan. A third of the new works could be acquired thanks to the support of foundations, companies, private individuals and funds, including a painting by André Masson and the light work 'Wasting life on you' by Pipilotti Rist on the square in front of the depot.  

- To celebrate his retirement, Albert J. Een, senior curator for Drawings and Prints, donated a drawing by the Dutch artist Josephus Augustus Knip.  

- Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen received a collection of surrealist books/publications from the collector couple Laurens Vancrevel and Frida de Jong.  The donation includes monographs, catalogues and literature about surrealism and varies from poetry and prose to essays, published in various languages.  

- Susan Bijl's ‘The New Shopping Bag, Mirror & Agaat’, (edition 2020) became, together with the predecessors of the bag, part of the design collection. 

- Despite the loan stop and all corona measures, 'Double Steel Cage Piece' by Bruce Nauman travelled to Tate Modern in London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The major Kusama exhibition in Berlin/Tel Aviv exhibited works from Rotterdam. 

- Ruben Suykerbuyk became the new curator of Old Masters. Suykerbuyk followed Friso Lammertse, who went to the Rijksmuseum in 2020.  

- Sue-an van der Zijpp began as new curator for Applied Art and Design, and takes over from Mienke Simon Thomas, who has retired.  

- Thanks to the Curator Stipend from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the recently graduated art historian Marthe Kes can gain experience as junior curator. 

- The Mondriaan Fund awarded a scholarship for the position of a new junior curator for Prints: Mireille Linck and two scholarships for research and registration of the nineteenth-century collection for Bram Donders and Lisette Sulenta respectively.  

- The Rembrandt Association awarded a scholarship to Milou Goverde for research into nineteenth-century painting frames. 

- Jurgen Stegmann was appointed chair of the Supervisory Board as of 1 January. Jan Loorbach is stepping down from his role as chair after his full term of two times four years.  

- A third (online) expert meeting was held in the context of the Italian drawing research within the Getty Paper Project.  

- On Instagram a new milestone was reached: 55,000 followers.  

- 45 press releases were sent and 9 press events were held. 

- This year, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has received a cheque

for €536,006 as partner of the VriendenLoterij. €36,005 derives from the receipts from the earmarked lots of Boijman enthusiasts. 

- The support of many private individuals, companies and foundations enables the development of special programmes, the mounting of exhibitions, performing restorations and making important art acquisitions. More than 1,920 private individuals and businesses support the museum. They are involved as friend, @Boijmans member, as member of the Van Eyck Circle, the Zodiac Circle, one of the companies or are affiliated to one of the corporate memberships.  

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen thanks: De VriendenLoterij, Fonds 21, Mondriaan Fonds, Vereniging Rembrandt, VSBfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds en Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Zuid-Holland, Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht, Erasmusstichting, Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds, Van Cappellen Stichting, Stichting STOER, Ammodo, G.Ph. Verhagen-Stichting, Turing Foundation, Stichting Job Dura Fonds, Stichting Verzameling Van Wijngaarden-Boot, Maatschappij tot nut van ’t Algemeen departement Rotterdam, Stichting Fonds A.H. Martens van Sevenhoven, Interreg Vlaanderen Nederland, K.F. Hein Fonds, Stichting Boek en Wurm, Stichting Gifted Art, Stichting Groenendijk- Clemens, Stichting Harten Fonds, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Stichting ‘t Trekpaert, Stichting Saphir, Van der Mandele Stichting, The Getty Foundation, Stichting De Leeuwenberg, Stichting Dorodarte, Stichting Van Leeuwen Van Lignac, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Rabobank, Lakeside Capital, Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Stichting Lucas Van Leyden, Stichting Fonds Willem van Rede, Stichting Van Beuningen/ Peterich Fonds, Stichting Willem van der Vorm, Han Nefkens Foundation, Het Kalhorn/Timmermans Fonds, Nedspice Restauratiefonds, Familie de Heus Restauratiefonds, Stichting Boijmans Van Beuningen Basis Fonds, de Vrienden van Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, @Boijmans-leden, de Kring Van Eyck, de leden van Gezelschappen, Zodiaque Kring, Boijmans Business Club, Boijmans Corporate Members, and of course the Municipality of Rotterdam and all visitors and followers via our social channels. 


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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