A world-class collection

Boijmans Van Beuningen is a versatile and idiosyncratic museum. The museum was founded by and for Rotterdam residents, and has been situated in the heart of Rotterdam since 1849. Just like the city itself, Boijmans stands for extraordinary experiences. The current collection consists of more than 151,000 objects, including masterpieces by artists ranging from Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Jan van Eyck and Rembrandt to Dalí, Kees van Dongen, Edvard Munch and Charley Toorop. Boijmans also prominently features the installations of contemporary artists, such as Yayoi Kusama’s mirror room. The breadth of the collection originated in the passions of private collectors. The museum owes its name to two seminal collectors: Frans Boijmans and Daniël George van Beuningen. The museum has been closed since late May 2019 for a major renovation and renewal, for which Mecanoo architects were selected to produce the design. In 2026, Rotterdam will be launching a new culture park of international allure, with the renewed Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum at the centre as a key player in the role of a cementing partner.

A new mirroring icon

The depot is real; it’s already there, right next to the museum. It mirrors the city, and was built with many thousand kilos of steel and concrete, but at the same time it seems to be out of this world, as if some sort of comet or meteorite had landed in Rotterdam. A building situated somewhere between science and fiction, it defies the laws of both nature and architecture. It is a triumph of fantasy; of faith in what can be. Rotterdam. Make It Happen. The full collection will be on display from September 2021 in the new Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot; a global first. The design has been realised by Rotterdam-based architects MVRDV.

Boijmans for everyone

Until then, Boijmans is reaching out to Rotterdam and the world to thrill young and old with its top-flight international collection. Eight neighbouring locations in the city have come together in a unique collaboration under the heading ‘Boijmans Next Door’, and Boijmans is also going abroad with travelling shows. During the 2019/2020 school year, we have been visiting schools in Rotterdam to present real pieces from the collection in the classroom, and this will continue in the next school year. Boijmans is also busy experimenting online to keep the collection in the public eye.

My selection