Friday, 13 April 2012

Museum Weekend

 the most important cultural event in The Netherlands- is back!
The city moat and the Sassenpoort, the 15th century city gate in Zwolle.

  This year, on the weekend of 14-15 April, almost 500 museums across the country will celebrate their special weekend with many activities and exhibitions. The theme chosen for this year is, "let yourself be enriched by the museum".
During these two days visitors to the museums that are participating in the event will  only have to pay a symbolic entrance fee of 1 euro.

By visiting the website, you can find out if your favourite museums are taking part in the Museum Weekend and what their special activities will be for the event.

This is also a good chance for letting yourself be surprised by the variety of choices and visit for the first time some of the most interesting museums across the country.

Museum Weekend in Zwolle

Photo: courtesy of the Stedelijk Museum Zwolle

How about letting yourself be enriched and surprised by the historic city of Zwolle during Museum Weekend? Combine a visit to the three museums and the ateliers that are participating in the event with a gezellige (pleasant, in Dutch) day discovering this dynamic and beautiful city where you will find not only interesting old architecture but also beautiful canals and parks - not for nothing was Zwolle chosen as the greenest city in Europe in 2006...!

For Museum Weekend in Zwolle you can visit the Stedelijk Museum, Het Vrouwenhuis and the Museum de Fundatie location Nijenhuis Castle in Heino, as well as the ateliers of many local artists in the city.

In their website, the VVV Zwolle  -Tourist Office in Zwolle-  recommends coming to the city by bus or train, since for Museum Weekend two people will be able to travel for the price of one!

The Stedelijk Museum Zwolle (City Museum Zwolle)

This museum is located in one of the most remarkable buildings in the historic city centre of Zwolle on Melkmarkt street - the Drostenhuis (Bailiff's House), built in 1551 for the then bailiff of Drenthe and steward of Salland. In later periods this house was inhabited by the regents of Zwolle who modernised it in their own taste according to the style of the different periods.

The Drostenhuis (Bailiff's House) in Zwolle houses part of the Stedelijk (City) Museum.
 The period rooms on the ground floor of the house give the visitor a clear impression of how the ruling class and the burgeoisie of Zwolle lived in the past. The kitchen is considered to be the most beautiful period kitchen in the entire country and its garden, redesigned in 2006, can be enjoyed and admired while taking a break in the coffee shop of the museum or while sitting in the garden terrace during the summer.
 In the upper floors of the house there are exhibitions about the history of the city and the province of Overijssel.
In the new section of the museum (situated nextdoor) the visitor can find the temporary exhibitions in the field of cultural history. At the moment, the summer exhibition "Stil even" is in progress with  a collection of still lifes and landscapes from the Golden Age to the present. The exhibition will be on display at the Stedelijk Museum until 12 August.

For the Museum Weekend visitors can -for just 1 euro- take one of the guided tours around the Drostenhuis and see the temporary exhibition "Stil even". The guided tours will take place on Sunday 15 April at 11:15, 12:15, 14:00 and 15:00.

Address: Melkmarkt 41, Zwolle (a 10-minute walk from the NS station).

Het Vrouwenhuis (The Women's House)

This is quite a special museum located in the heart of the city centre. Aleida Greve was a very well-to-do lady who lived in Zwolle in the second half of the 17th and first half of the 18th centuries. In her testament, she specified that her beautiful mansion house should be converted into a retirement house for elderly women and spinsters. Each of the women that were accepted in the house had their own room and they even received an allowance every month.

The Women's House on the Melkmarkt in Zwolle

In this beautiful house the visitor can roam around the decorated interiors corresponding to three different centuries, from 1680 until 1980. The museum keeps a collection of unique paintings by family members of Aleida Greve.

Normally, this museum opens only for groups by previous appointment. On Museum Weekend Het Vrouwenhuis will offer guided tours every half hour from 14:00 to 16:30. You need to book beforehand by calling 038 - 422 4823.

Museum address: Melkmarkt 53, Zwolle.
Visitor's entrance on Voorstraat 46, Zwolle.

Museum de Fundatie - location Nijenhuis Castle in Heino

From January to mid-December 2012 the Museum de Fundatie location Zwolle will remain closed due to the renovation works that are in progress at the moment. The monumental neoclassical palace of the museum is located on Blijmarkt 20.

Paleis a/d Blijmarkt, the neoclassical building that houses the Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle.

The other location of the museum is Nijenhuis Castle, one of the best preserved manor houses in the province of Overijssel. The castle is situated between the towns of Heino and Wijhe and is surrounded by a beautiful natural area, making a visit to the museum a real treat.
Nijenhuis Castle, one of the two locations of the Museum de Fundatie.

At the initiative of art collector Dirk Hannema, the castle -which originally dates from the 14th century and had gone into desrepair after being sold by the last owners in 1934- underwent a thorough renovation and was turned into a museum in 1958. Hannema lived in the castle until his death in 1984 and his private art collection formed the basis for the Museum de Fundatie.

The caslte is surrounded by beautiful ornamental gardens and woodlands.
 Besides presenting Hanema's collection, regular temporary exhibitions are held within the castle's walls and in the statue garden which has been very recently opened. For Museum Weekend visitors to Nijenhuis Castle can admire over 75 sculptures belonging to the Museum de Fundatie, the province of Overijssel and the Museum "Beelden aan Zee" in a beautiful setting of ornamental gardens and woodlands.

Address: 't Nijenhuis 10, Heino/Wijhe

Open Ateliers

Also during Museum Weekend a number of artists in Zwolle will participate in the Open Ateliers weekend, an initiative aiming at bringing artists and art-lovers together. Between 11:00 and 17:00 on both days (14/15 April) 30 artists in the city will keep the doors of their ateliers open to the public.
The list of the ateliers taking part in this event can be found in the website of the BZK (Belangen Zwolse Kunstenaars).

All that rests for me to say is, kom maar genieten! (come and enjoy!)