Summer is already over, the days are getting shorter and temperatures are falling. But as far as we’re concerned, that’s no reason to stay at home! Once again this autumn, museums in Brabant have an inspiring and varied programme; from Koele Wateren to Dutch Design. You can of course combine your museum visit with a lovely city walk, some enjoyable shopping, and a delicious lunch or dinner at one of our top food locations. Be sure to stay the night! With the Brabant countryside just around the corner, there’s plenty to discover in every town, or just outside it.
Visiting a museum is of course most enjoyable, but also safe. A limited number of visitors are admitted each day, so you should purchase your ticket in advance.
Breda Photo is a must-do if you plan to visit Breda in the near future. The largest biennial photography exhibition in Benelux opened on 9 September and continues until 25 October. There will be various exhibitions by photographers from all over the world at attractive locations in the town, indoors and outdoors. The theme for 2020 is ‘The best of Times. The worst of Times’.
Photographer and curator Jan Hoek reverses the power struggles between photographer and model in his Power to the Models exhibition in the Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum in Breda. It’s the models, not the photographer who set the scene. One of these is Lotte van Eijk, an overweight model who opened an Instagram account and posted an image of a female body that she would never find in a magazine. Or Mohan Verstegen, a gay activist who works for the (Dutch) Ministry of Defence. The image he shows of himself is an alternative to the ‘standard’ image of a soldier. Power to the Models can be seen from 9 September 2020 to 29 November 2020.
Four centuries of art with water in the leading role as friend and foe: the Koele Wateren exhibition is an eye-catching selection of no fewer than forty paintings from the Rijksmuseum collection, complemented by works from the Markiezenhof’s own collection in Bergen op Zoom. There is also a link to the future in this exhibition. What will happen if sea levels rise by 6 metres and what will the Netherlands look like in 200 years? The exhibition runs from 10 November 2020 to 7 March 2021. Interesting fact: the Markiezenhof is the oldest city palace in the Netherlands, and just one of more than 800 monuments that enrich this fortified town.
Photographer Harry Gruyaert was born in 1941 in Antwerp and is regarded as the leading European pioneer of colour photography. Museum Helmond presents the first retrospective exhibition of his work in the Netherlands. You will see saturated colours, often with striking accents in red, green or blue. He photographed the hustle and bustle of the street as well as the silence of coastal landscapes. His photos contain wonderful combinations showing the presence or absence of objects and people. These can be seen from 29 September to 28 February in the Kunsthal in Helmond. Tip: a visit to Helmond is not complete without visiting the largest moated castle in the Netherlands – Helmond Castle. And did you realise that the first cube houses by the Dutch architect Piet Blom were built here?
Step into the wonderful world of Eindhoven designer Kiki van Eijk. She is well known for her imaginative designs: from quirky clocks to tapestries and poetic window designs for the French luxury brand Hermès. She presents highlights from her work in a unique way in the renowned TextielMuseum in Tilburg. This exhibition will challenge you to discover her designs in a playful way. The exhibition in the TextielMuseum in Tilburg runs from 26 September 2020 to 12 September 2021. You can combine your visit to the TextielMuseum with Museum De Pont, with its contemporary art and Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror at the entrance. De Pont is a 5 minute walk from the Textielmuseum.
The Politics of Design exhibition in Design Museum Den Bosch revolves around the visionary designer Victor Papanek (1923-1998). His famous book ‘Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change’ (1970) represents a radical vision of design in which sustainability and social justice are more important than consumerism and commerce. The exhibition in Design Museum Den Bosch is a retrospective of his work, combined with the way in which young designers are working on these themes more than ever before. On view from 17 October 2020 to 7 February 2021.
The Noordbrabants Museum is also located in the Museumkwartier (Museum District) in ’s-Hertogenbosch and is connected to the Design Museum by a corridor and a beautiful garden courtyard. The Asjemenou: A History of Dutch Popular Culture in 100 Objects exhibition is based on a regular column in the Dutch newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’. The writers of this column selected 100 unusual but everyday objects, each with its own story, and which together pay tribute to the Netherlands. The exhibition in the Noordbrabants Museum runs from 10 October 2020 to 24 January 2021.
Combine this temporary exhibition with a visit to the Van Gogh pavilion. The Noordbrabants Museum is the only place in Brabant where you can admire genuine works by this master painter. A new work by Van Gogh, ‘Head of a Woman’ was purchased recently.
The New Melancholy exhibition can be seen in the Van Abbemuseum and Home of Design Kazerne in Eindhoven. It’s a collection of accessible works that portray an air of melancholy, in keeping with the current situation of keeping distance and contemplation. Plans were in place for a collaboration between the Kazerne Foundation, Van Abbemuseum and Lidewij Edelkoort (former director of Design Academy Eindhoven and internationally renowned trend forecaster), but the outbreak of COVID-19 meant that the exhibition would take on a unique character. When curating her collection of innovative contemporary design, a major consideration for Edelkoort was the essential contribution that design makes towards achieving a happy life. On view from 17 October to 6 December.