Portraits Laid Bare: Rineke Dijkstra at the Stedelijk Museum

Exhibition review of Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode, 20 May – 06 August 2017, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. by Eve Kalyva Rineke Dijkstra’s exhibition at the Stedelijk is a must see. The vast space of the museum’s upper galleries is always a challenge – what from the outside looks like a bathtub was, after all, the largest free standing exhibition space in Europe at the time of its construction in 2012. In an effort to maximise space use, curators usually overcompensate by putting up shows that are dense and heavy with exhibits.     Dijkstra’s exhibition is an exception. There are relatively few

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss

The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss by Danielle Carter featured image: Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman, 1656 If you can’t get enough of Dutch Golden Age art at the Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage Amsterdam is a wonderful additional option to expand your knowledge with the exhibition: Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age. image: Elvert Ezinga From late 2014 through to the end of this year, the Hermitage Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Museum, is hosting an array of portraits from the Dutch Golden Age, including some of the

The Lucas van Leyden Altarpiece in the Rijksmuseum

Danielle Carter Images courtesy of Olivier Middendorp Presentation in the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum is taken very seriously.  Only the most famous of Dutch artists are displayed here, often with their names adorning the arches and capitals of the hall when the museum was built in 1885, and again during its subsequent renovation from 2003 to 2013. Thus, each time a new piece is hosted in the Gallery of Honour, it is a notable event. This year alone, Anish Kapoor’s works were hosted in the Gallery of Honour, opposite Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride and The Syndics; and a newly acquired

Museum Opening: Museum Voorlinden

We sent our very own Danielle Carter to the opening of a brand new museum of modern and contemporary art in Wassenaar; the Museum Voorlinden. Here's her thoughts: Wassenaar is mostly known across the Netherlands as the classy town that houses the royal family. Now a chic, new neighbour is garnering attention for this little town that sits between Leiden and the Hague: the Museum Voorlinden, which opened its doors to the public yesterday on the 11th of September. The Museum Voorlinden is nestled among cosy suburban houses, puddles of lavender and dandelions, and a sprawling green oasis. The modern and

The Significance of Rembrandt’s Marten and Oopjen

We are delighted to welcome Danielle Carter, owner of Tangible Education and museum educator for Thinking Museum, to write for us. You can learn more about Danielle’s research, educational and practical experience here.   There have been numerous images of Rembrandt's Marten and Oopjen (1634) splashed across billboards and walls throughout Amsterdam for the past few months. Some solely featured Marten’s extravagant shoe. Some featured Oopjen’s coy half-smile and smouldering eyes. However, it’s hard to really understand the significance of these portraits without more context. This is where we, at Thinking Museum, can assist: the importance of Marten and Oopjen from the museological,

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast…

Much has been written about the power of different forms of visual expression - art works, objects, artefacts - to inspire, provoke curiosity and interest. It is generally accepted that looking at objects stimulates critical thinking through comparing and contrasting, identifying and classifying, describing and summarising and son on. Indeed, museums are using objects and art increasingly to help individuals learn what Philip Yenawine, museum educator and VTS founder, calls 'viewing-skills'. This often happens quite naturally, although all too often the process is unstructured and messy. Looking is central to the museum experience as visitors are presented with an array of

More than a Strategy: Building a Culture of Thinking

I was recently talking to a fellow museum docent about how they were given a 10 minute training on how to use thinking routines (from Visible Thinking) in another museum. A few routines were enthusiastically explained to them and they were told that these routines could be inserted 'ad-hoc' into tours to inject a little more participation and conversation. Whilst this may provide a quick-fix for those moments when you want to enliven a tour, this is not how thinking routines are intended to be used nor how I personally envisage their use or potential for use in the museum. When

Take our Poll: Are you interested in a one day Visible Thinking workshop?

We would love to run a one day Introduction to Visible Thinking workshop in Amsterdam next Spring. The workshop would be designed for educators working in a variety of settings  who are new to Visible Thinking and are interested in applying it in their work. The morning would consist of an introduction to the art of facilitating discussions using thinking routines and an overview of a number of these routines and how they can be applied. The afternoon would take place in the a museum practising the new methods. Please do take part in the poll below to let us know