Amsterdam Museum visible on all fronts in 2023
ma 18 december 2023, 14:00 hour
The Amsterdam Museum was physically and digitally visible on all fronts in 2023, both at its locations on the Amstel and Huis Willet-Holthuysen and in the form of a multi-part documentary series, a new digital platform and programming with partners. The museum's exhibitions and public programs attracted nearly 190,000 physical visitors at both locations, plus over 850,000 visitors on digital channels. The exhibition The Maasdamme Collection made a particularly strong impression, against the backdrop of the commemorative year surrounding the history of slavery. This presentation was visited by, among others, Prime Minister Rutte and former State Secretary for Culture & Media Uslu.
Growing visitor numbers
Throughout the cultural sector, the effects of the corona pandemic are still being felt. Nevertheless, the Amsterdam Museum's visitor figures are encouraging. On the Amstel, the various exhibitions and presentations attracted nearly 138,000 visitors. Huis Willet-Holthuysen, part of the Amsterdam Museum, attracted nearly 49,000 visitors. In addition, the museum created 85 public programs in 2023 and collaborated with nearly 240 schools, welcoming approximately 10,000 schoolchildren. The Amsterdam Museum also grew digitally in 2023: the museum's website received more than 850,000 visits and the museum's social media community grew by 14 percent compared to 2022.
Successful program on the Amstel
In 2023, the Amsterdam Museum spent the first full year in the building on the Amstel, as a temporary home during the renovation of the Civil Orphanage complex on Kalverstraat. Here, in addition to the permanent collection presentation Panorama Amsterdam, which tells 450 years of city history, the exhibitions Collecting the City #3, The Maasdamme Collectie, Continue This Thread and Refresh Amsterdam #2: War & Conflict.
Surprising exhibitions in Huis Willet-Holthuysen
Huis Willet-Holthuysen also hosted several exhibitions. From June 4 to October 29, 2023, ANOHNI – SHE SAW BEAUTIFUL THINGS was on view here, a collaboration with the internationally acclaimed musician and artist ANOHNI, also associate artist of the Holland Festival in 2023. Starting Dec. 2, the historic mansion hosted the exhibition Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens, a collaboration with ballroom house House of Vineyard. This exhibition will be on view through May 26, 2024.
Award-winning new visual identity
In November 2023, the Amsterdam Museum launched a new website. The digital platform is the final piece of the renewed museum brand that the Amsterdam City Museum introduced in 2022. This rebranding project, in collaboration with graphic designers Hamid Sallali and Isabelle Vaverka, was awarded a Red Dot Design Award. The new platform was developed in collaboration with leading digital agency Bravoure.
The Burgerweeshuis, the main location of the museum since 1975, is closed for renovation. Preparations for the new Amsterdam Museum are underway. Implementation is expected to start next year.
Start of documentary series around renovation
The Amsterdam Museum and regional broadcaster NH have joined forces for the production of A Museum for Amsterdam, 24-part documentary series in 2023. The reason is the renovation of the Civic Orphanage. The television series shows how, during the years of renovation, the museum develops in many ways as a city museum of the future.
Launch Amsterdam Museum Journal
In October 2023, the Amsterdam Museum launched a new academic journal, Amsterdam Museum Journal (AMJournal), open to both researchers and a wider international audience. It is a new peer-reviewed journal, published twice a year on the Amsterdam Museum website. AMJournal contains contributions from different fields and in a variety of forms, such as essays, research articles and roundtable discussions, always with the city as the central topic. AMJournal also publishes contributions from scholars at all stages of their research careers. Each issue has a different theme, such as "War, Conflict, and the City" (issue 1; October 2023) or "Deconstructing Gentrification" (issue 2; June 2024).
ELJA Children's Museum Lab
In 2023, the museum launched the multi-year collaborative project ELJA Children's Museum Lab. During the period 2023-2025, Amsterdam children at the Amsterdam Museum will have the opportunity to help think about the city museum of the future. The project consists of eight annual meetings in all city districts, exhibitions and a children's sounding board group and director. With this, Amsterdam's city museum aims to gain insight into what the ultimate museum for and by children looks like, especially in the march toward the city museum of the future. This multi-year project is made possible in part by the ELJA Foundation.
Opening bike park
In late January 2023, Vivianne Heijnen, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, opened the Stationsplein bicycle parking facility at the front of Amsterdam Central Station. The bicycle parking is part of the completely renovated entrance area, the renewal of which began in 2018. It collaborated with the Amsterdam Museum to build the city maps of "The Horizon" in the bike shed - which cover the entire right wall of approximately 130 meters - from "pixels" of paintings and photographs from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the City Archive. These images show the connection between the city of Amsterdam and the water.
In 2023, the Amsterdam Museum received visits from several government ministers. For example, outgoing Prime Minister Rutte and former State Secretary for Culture & Media, Uslu, visited the exhibition The Maasdamme Collection. Uslu visited the museum again later in the year at the opening of Refresh Amsterdam #2: War & Conflict. The museum was also visited by Silveria Jacobs, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten.
In public space
The Amsterdam Museum was also fully visible in public space in 2023. For example, the construction fences around two of Amsterdam's busiest intersections, the Weteringcircuit and the Prins Hendrikkade, were covered with several masterpieces from the museum's collection. These displays are seen by nearly 1 million passersby every day. Various other large-scale campaigns were also carried out throughout the city to draw visitors' attention to all that the Amsterdam Museum has to offer.
'I think it's fantastic to see that more and more Amsterdammers and young people are visiting our museum,' said Judikje Kiers, director of the Amsterdam Museum. 'We do our best to achieve this: with our exhibitions, public programs and the multi-year project in which we give children a voice and together build the children's museum of the future. With our multifaceted activities, we are becoming increasingly visible, both physically and online. That gives confidence for the future.'
Looking ahead to 2024
Numerous exhibitions and activities are also planned for 2024, both in the building on the Amstel and in Huis Willet-Holthuysen. For example, the fourth edition of Collecting the City #4 will start in the Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel from February 23. Also, starting in the spring, the significance of merchant Piet van Eeghen for the history of Amsterdam will be dwelled upon. Furthermore, on July 27 Faces of Nort Holland will launch. This collaboration with the Frans Hals Museum will expand the portrait collection to include contemporary faces from the province. Furthermore, with the project Women of Amsterdam: An Ode in 2024, the Amsterdam Museum is rewriting the history of the city from a female perspective, in the run-up to Amsterdam's 750th anniversary.
Also in 2024, the Amsterdam Museum offers public programming at various locations and for a diverse audience. Some of these programs tie in with the exhibitions mentioned above. Examples include symposia, talks, workshops, film screenings, performances and evening openings. In addition, specific programs are organized to tie in with current events or special moments, such as Keti Koti and May 4 and 5. In 2024, the Amsterdam Museum will also continue the monthly New Narrative Tours, Queer Gaze Tours and Female Gaze Tours, which invite visitors to view the collection from different perspectives. In addition, new formats for the public program will be developed, including around music and food culture.
The Amsterdam Museum is structurally supported by Main Beneficiary Gemeente Amsterdam, Founder VriendenLoterij and Main Partner Education ELJA Foundation.