This blog was once started to document the (digital) development of a museum of national history in the Netherlands. As most readers will know, that museum never happened. What most readers – acquainted with our very visible projects such as xwashier and the National Vending Machine – might not know is that a large part of the work done by our curators has never been made public. Until now.
Yesterday in a packed Felix Meritis in Amsterdam the publication Blueprint was presented. The book shows in detail our plans for the design and contents of a museum of national history for the Netherlands. It contains sketches of exhibitions, descriptions of displays and interactives and even ideas for the architecture of the physical building. It is the outcome of years of work by some of the most talented people I’ve ever met and beautifully designed by one of my favourite designers in the Netherlands.
While reading the book I hardly needed my usually vivid imagination to feel like I was actually visiting the museum. And it was a great visit. Now I know I’m biased, but while walking through the galleries I bumped into a lot of stuff I would have loved to see in real life. There’s even a karaoke gallery (something I know some of my readers will enjoy)!
Apart from an account of many years of hard work, the book also shines a light on the future of museums all over the world. Together with the earlier book Sketches for a National History Museum it’s almost a DIY manual for new museums.
I definitely recommend reading the book (but then again, I’m not entirely unprejudiced). Although this book is the end of the line for us, its contents sure can be of benefit to others. I’m also very curious to hear your response to its ideas and proposals. What do you think will work? What have you tried in your institution and what were the results?
N.B. When shipping costs are insane for your country, I’m happy to order it for you and take it with me on my way to MuseumNext in May, or any other international event I’ll be attending. Contact me to work this out.