10 x museums and art institutions in Rotterdam
Guido Pijper

10 x museums and art institutions in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a bubbly mix of innovative architecture, lively festivals and challenging art and culture. The many exhibitions in top museums such as Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthal Rotterdam and the Nederlands Fotomuseum are well worth a visit. For those that love art, don’t miss this top ten of museums and art institutions in Rotterdam.

1. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is a versatile and unconventional museum in the heart of Rotterdam. The museum is also one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands and has a collection of paintings, sculptures and utensils and a collection of drawings and prints. Dutch and European masterpieces provide an overview from the early Middle Ages to the 21st century, from Jeroen Bosch, Rembrandt and Van Gogh to Dalí and Dutch Design. The municipality of Rotterdam expects to start renovating Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 2019. The Tax & Customs Museum, Chabot Museum, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Maritime Museum, Museum Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and Wereldmuseum will showcase parts of the collection in the coming years under the denominator ‘Boijmans at the Neighbours’.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will open in the Museumpark in 2020. It is the first depot in the world that provides access to a complete collection, without the intervention of a curator. In the depot you can admire more than 70,000 art objects at your own pace or with a guide. The 40-metre high mirrored building is a design by the Rotterdam architect Winy Maas from MVRDV and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the port from the freely accessible roof garden with restaurant.

2. Kunsthal Rotterdam

The Kunsthal Rotterdam is an icon of modern architecture and was designed by the Rotterdam agency OMA/Rem Koolhaas. The building is located on the edge of the beautiful Museumpark and Westzeedijk. There are always several – large and small – exhibitions at a time, from old masters to contemporary artists, from innovative designers to engaging photographers. Stop for a snack or a drink at the Kunsthal Café.

The Kunsthal wants to surprise and amaze. Not only the first time, but again and again!

Emily Ansenk, Director

3. Nederlands Fotomuseum

The Nederlands Fotomuseum is the national museum of photography with an impressive collection of more than 5.5 million images. The museum shows photography in all its facets. Historical and contemporary photography, Dutch and international, alternate. In recent years, work by photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, Lewis Hine, Alfredo Jaar, Josef Koudelka and Viviane Sassen was presented in large exhibitions.

4. Maritime Museum

The collection of the oldest shipping museum in the Netherlands has more than half a million maritime objects. There are various exhibitions including the Offshore Experience, a challenging search for energy at sea. Outside, on the quay in Leuvehaven, you can admire ships, cranes and other port objects from the period of 1850 to 1970.

5. Museum Rotterdam

5. Museum Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam is about the city and its inhabitants and shows Rotterdam as it was, is and will be. The museum has been located in the Timmerhuis since 2016. The Timmerhuis building is a spectacular transparent cloud of glass, just behind the city hall, designed by Rem Koolhaas. Both collection pieces and residents tell the story of the city here in three exhibitions. The exhibition Museum Rotterdam '40 -'45 NOW, in the outbuilding of Museum Rotterdam in Coolhaven, pays extra attention to the Second World War in Rotterdam.

6. Wereldmuseum Rotterdam

The Wereldmuseum Rotterdam offers a mirror image of 130 years of collecting by Rotterdammers for Rotterdammers. The Wereldmuseum will be optimised and renewed until the autumn of 2019. In the meantime, the doors of the museum are open and it showcases small exhibitions and activities. During the renovation the museum can be visited for free.

7. TENT and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

TENT is an exhibition space for contemporary Rotterdam art. Through a varied programme, TENT focuses on relevant and current developments in contemporary art, connecting the art of the city to what is happening in the world. The exhibition space is located in a monumental former school building on the Witte de Withstraat. The building is shared with the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, one of the most important institutes for contemporary art in the Netherlands.

8. Het Nieuwe Instituut

At Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture presents temporary exhibitions with the theme of innovation. In addition to an archive and a library, there is a bookshop and Het Nieuwe Café, a lively museum café on the water. In 2015, Het Nieuwe Café won the Museum Glass 2015, the prize for the best museum café in the Netherlands. The Sonneveld House Museum next door, one of the best-preserved houses in the style of the Dutch branch of the International School of Modernism (Nieuwe Bouwen), is open to the public.

9. Natural History Museum Rotterdam

9. Natural History Museum Rotterdam

The Natural History Museum Rotterdam is a lovely Rotterdam museum that continues to amaze. The permanent collection of birds, mammals, fish, insects, shells and plants shows earth's biodiversity in all its variety. You can see all the fossils that can be found in Dutch soil in the exhibition ‘Picked up, Fished out, Cut out'. The exhibition 'Pure Resilience' shows that the city is also nature. Eye-catchers are the skeleton of a sperm whale and the skeleton of elephant Ramon. With famous dead-animals-with-a-story such as the Domino sparrow, the Second Chamber Mouse and the CERN marten, the museum also attracts international attention and public.

10. Chabot Museum

The Chabot museum is a small museum with a varied international exhibition programme. The Chabot Museum manages one of the most important collections of painter and sculptor Henk Chabot (1894-1949), a Dutch expressionist. As a painter of farmers and horticulturists, the Dutch landscape and in the war years of refugees and people in hiding, Chabot has his own place in Dutch modern art. The museum is housed in the monumental white villa dating from 1938, which, like the Sonneveld House, the Van Nelle Factory and the Feyenoord Stadium, is one of the highlights of the Dutch branch of the International School of Modernism (Nieuwe Bouwen) period.

3 x Art Galleries in Rotterdam

Showroom MAMA

Showroom MAMA

A visual arts and culture organisation based in Rotterdam
Contour Gallery

Contour Gallery

A gallery for contemporary art with a focus on photography and sculptures
Garage Rotterdam

Garage Rotterdam

An exhibition centre for contemporary art in the city centre of Rotterdam

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