Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to Holland

Well, not really, but finally a minute to post some photos of exhibitions in the Netherlands. These are just elements I liked--for design or for content or for both. Above, at the Amsterdam Historical Museum, a great way to combine a map and objects in a way that really draws the visitor in.

Conversation spaces: this one is at the historical museum in Devanter. It wasn't a large museum but the exhibits each had small spaces like these where you could sit, talk, and explore materials.

A focus on stories about real people. Again, at the Amsterdam Historical Museum, a circular installation that told the story of a number of Amsterdam residents, with objects, photos and, as I remember, audio installations. The second photo, a close-up view of a woman who had worked as a domestic.

Using your imagination. This may be a little hard to see, but at the Doll and Toy Museum in Devanter, this room was devoted to toys about transportation. The airplanes cast shadows on the ceiling and a little platform with binoculars provided a fun way to look up close at those objects.

Full immersion. That's Rembrandt's wife's bed, at left, and the Amstelkring, a hidden Catholic chapel from the 17th century. The opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a historic space, not bounded by ropes or guided tours made me, and I think other visitors, imagine ourselves back in time and space.

Just great design. Here, a great looking game table from the Toy and Doll Museum in Devanter.

Using a familiar item in a new way. Dollhouses--we all know what they are and how they work. Here at the Amsterdam Historical Museum dollhouses were used to show the floor plans and living situations of various public housing projects over time. A potentially not-so-interesting topic presented in a really accessible way.

And finally, connecting past with present, and at the same time, connecting with the visitor. Here, a photomural of the most Dutch of Amsterdam activities at the Amsterdam Historical Museum. And speaking of the present, how many museums do you know who also feature an installation of a coffee shop, Amsterdam style?

What great museum ideas have you seen lately?

No comments: