I am always amazed – and filled with despair – when I see how much of a museum’s collection is hidden from visitors. Virtual online collections certainly help to surface lesser-known pieces, but here is a museum seeking to provide physical access to its entire collection. Amazing! – Douglas
THE MUSEUM BOIJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN—THE most visited-museum in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam—was founded in 1849. Over the next century and a half, its collection grew to more than 151,000 works of art, including masterpieces by household names like Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Hieronymus Bosch, and Peter Paul Rubens, all of it valued at €8 billion (about $9 billion). But as is the case for museums around the world, Boijmans’ galleries can only accommodate a fraction of these vast holdings, meaning that for most of its history the majority have been stored out of sight.
Sjarel Ex, the museum’s director since 2004, always thought that was a shame.