There is always something of interest happening in this culture rich country, here is a round-up.

The Second World War in 100 Objects, Kunsthal Rotterdam

Until 5 May 2014

For one time only, a hundred of the most exceptional objects from 25 war and resistance museums in Holland will be brought together and exhibited at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. The numerous events behind each of these objects evoke personal memories, emotions, abhorrence and sentiments stemming from the war years between 1940 and 1945. Even the smallest objects have fascinating stories to tell, like the flag of surrender that sergeant-major Gerrit van Ommering made on the day of the Rotterdam Blitz, hurriedly improvised from a broom handle and a sheet splattered with blood. But also the spectacles that the red-haired resistance worker Hannie Schaft wore as a disguise, and the child’s jumper that a mother knitted during the ‘Hunger Winter’ (the Dutch famine of 1944) using dog hairs she had saved up over the years. Even the much-maligned SS flag and an imposing Cromwell tank will also be spending three months at the Kunsthal.

S.H.O.E.S. Head over Heals exhibition, Kunsthal Rotterdam

The Rijksmuseum

Until 11 May 2014

This exhibition is an exceptional modern-historical and contemporary overview of the shoe. The exhibition ranges from Victorian boots c. 1900, through the first stilettos and 1970′s platform shoes, to models by contemporary designers such as Rogier Vivier, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Vivian Westwood, Versace, Rem D. Koolhaas and Christian Louboutin. The exhibition is an irresistible “must-see” for all with a passion for fashion. For S.H.O.E.S., the Kunsthal Rotterdam is cooperating with the Hasselt Modemuseum, and its spectacular collection of pumps, boots, sandals and flip-flops. This collection, together with those from the Leather and Shoe museum in Waalwijk, and the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence form the basis of this exhibition.

Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Until 11 May 2014

In an exhibition in which the relationship between sculpture and photography is the central theme, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen brings together works by three international artists who have been decisive for the development of artistic practice in the 20th century: Medardo Rosso (1858-1928), Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) and Man Ray (1890-1976).

About ninety sculptures and photographs by these three artists will come to Rotterdam from different international collections, since there are only a few works included in Dutch collections. The exhibition explores how Rosso, Brancusi and Man Ray conceived the photographic medium as a tool to achieve their sculptural principles, rather than a merely reportorial activity, and highlights some unexpected similarities in the experimental and pioneristic researches of these three artists.

Mondrian and Cubism – Paris 1912-14 Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Until 11 May 2014

Piet Mondriaan, Hooischelf, 1897-1898.

Leo Gestel, Olijfbomen, Mallorca, 1914, olieverf op doek, 69 x 73,7 cm, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a man of boundless ambition. He made himself one of the greatest masters of modern art and resolutely pioneered the path towards abstraction. 2014 is the 70th anniversary of Piet Mondrian’s passing in New York. Therefore, the Gemeentemuseum (having the largest collection of his work) presents a special exhibition about his life work. The exhibition provides the opportunity to compare work of Mondrian and other Dutch artists with that of the most important Cubists who flourished in Paris.

In 1912 Mondrian moved to Paris to explore Cubism. In 1914 he returned and held an exhibition at the Walrecht gallery in The Hague; it showed just how far Mondrian had travelled from the Dutch art of his time in those two short years. The exhibition also includes works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger.

The Mondrian year will be celebrated with major exhibitions including the Turner Contemporary, Margate and Tate Liverpool.

Félix Vallotton: Fire Beneath the Ice, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Until 1 June 2014

What smoulders under the cool detachment in the paintings and prints of the Swiss-French artist Félix Vallotton (1865-1925)? This can be discovered in the exhibition Félix Vallotton. Fire beneath the ice at the Van Gogh Museum. Around 60 paintings, on loan from international museums and private collections, together with 40 prints from the Van Gogh Museum’s collection will provide an insight into Vallotton’s fascinating oeuvre, in which nothing is what it seems.

Vallotton started as a portrait painter, but became internationally renowned for his impressive black-and-white woodcuts. It is innovative work with an unparalleled style and atmosphere: the woodcuts simmer with an underlying tension or threat, whereas their humour is often infused with a great deal of social criticism. Vallotton was a master in observation, a moody, acerbic man who kept the world at bay, but who observed it sharply in all its cruelty and absurdity. His paintings present everyday life, at the same time imbuing it with an enigmatic strangeness.

Surreal Worlds, Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Until 9 June 2014

Surrealism has changed the way we view the world. This is something that Centraal Museum wants to share with its visitors in the exhibition Surreal Worlds. The exposition shows the strong influence that surrealism has had on art and image culture until this day.

Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk, Amsterdam

Until 15 June 2014

Marcel Wanders is recognized as one of the most distinguished designers working today. He is internationally renowned for his product, furniture and interior designs, and original art direction. The largest presentation of his work to-date, this is the first European survey exhibition of Wanders since 1999. It is also the first major design exhibition to be presented at the Stedelijk following its reopening in 2012. The exhibition presents designs from Wanders’ entire oeuvre, ranging from the late 1980s to the present. More than 400 objects will be on display in the monumental lower-level gallery space in the Stedelijk’s new wing, and will encompass furniture, lamps, utensils, cutlery, wallpaper, packaging, and jewelry. The show also includes images of interiors, design sketches, prototypes, experimental work in small editions, sculptural objects developed for special projects, and “virtual interiors”: new experimental digital creations.

Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk is conceived in three parts: a white zone, which offers an analysis of Wanders’ work based on 10 themes (such as craftsmanship, narratives and dialogues, surface, innovation, archetypes, variation, and playing with scale); a black zone presenting work of a more personal and often experimental nature in a theatrical setting; and a lounge where Wanders’ role as Art Director for design brands, including Moooi, is explored.


Welcome Aboard. Suitcases and travel bags from 1850 to present Tassenmuseum, Amsterdam

12 March to 31 August 2014

In the exhibition shows the history of travel and the development of suitcases and travel bags from 1850 to the present. Travel by coach across difficult roads, evolved into travel by air and travel bags then changed from weatherproof trunks for the coach to lightweight carry-ons with wheels. Among other items in the exhibition, the museum is showing gigantic trunks for travel by coach and ship, as well as luxurious luggage sets from the 1950s and extravagant dressing cases containing silver brushes and crystal vials. In the exhibition the suitcase is an object of modernity, reflecting the mobility and speed of the times.

Ferry Fortnight 2014

Britain’s annual National Ferry Fortnight will take place 15 – 29 March 2014. Now in its sixth year, the campaign has been growing steadily since launching in 2009. The two week showcase highlights the extensive ferry network from the UK to mainland Europe, including the UK to Holland services. For further information please visit www.discoverferries.com

Keukenhof Gardens

20 March to 18 May 2014

In 2014 the world-famous gardens will be open from 20 March to 18 May and the theme will be Holland. More than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will fill over 32 hectares of parkland with glorious colour. Keukenhof gardens can be easily explored by bike and bikes can be rented in the gardens. Boat trips are also available. Daily opening hours are 8am to 19.30.

Dutch Design exhibition at the Paleis Het Loo

22 March to 29 June 2014

Paleis Het Loo is presenting the work of Dutch designers in five historic interiors of the palace in an exhibition entitled ‘Royal Showpieces, a royal encounter with Dutch design’.

For the first time in the history of Paleis Het Loo these traditional interiors will be given a different look. Using museum pieces from the depots along with clothing, tableware and art objects the well-known exhibition curator Nicole Uniquole is presenting a lively dialogue between the royal taste of the past and contemporary Dutch design. Uniquole’s presentation highlights details from the rich palace interiors at Het Loo which otherwise may be overwhelmed in the context of the historic setting. Items from the museum’s depots, seldom seen by the public at large, have also been selected for display. Painted and plastered ceilings are reflected in the floors, colours and music appeal to the senses and dramatic lighting effects encourage visitors to see Het Loo through different eyes. The New Dining Room, the Audience Hall, the bedchamber of King-Stadholder Willem III, the Salon of Prince Willem V and the sitting room of Queen Wilhelmina are viewed from a different perspective.

Since the opening of Paleis Het Loo to the public in 1984 the forty interiors have reflected the way in which the royal family of the House of Orange lived in the palace over a period of three centuries. Through their travels, state visits and marriages with foreign princes and princesses, the royal family came into contact with exclusive art and design. They acquired works, employed designers and acted as patrons of the art and crafts in Holland. Uniquole extrapolates this line through to 2014.

200 years of the Kingdom: Constitution Festival

29 March 2014

On Saturday 29 March, the Netherlands Constitution celebrates its bicentenary. The event will be celebrated nationally, and on a grand scale in The Hague. During the Constitution Festival, The Hague will be a venue for activities related to the Dutch Constitution, such as demonstrations by the Netherlands Royal Army, workshops and jousting events.

On 29 March 1814, 474 leading Dutch citizens congregated in the New Church in Amsterdam for the Assembly of Notables. The Constitution was finally passed with 448 votes for and just 26 votes against. Exactly 200 years later, this important event will be marked in style with an array of festive activities that will take place in the city centre. During the celebrations, doors that are normally closed to the general public will be opening, such as those of the Knight’s Hall, Peace Palace and the Houses of Representatives and Commons. In total, over 60 institutions and organizations are participating in the Constitution Festival.

A host of outdoor activities will also be taking place. Jousting events and workshops will be held on Het Plein, around the Court Lake and in Korte and Lange Voorhout. The entire area can be seen from the air with the Skywatch at Hofplaats. The day also coincides with the 10th edition of The Hague History Day. The Netherlands Royal Army, which is also celebrating its bicentenary, will be putting on a grand display with a wealth of activities on and around Hofvijver.


National Museum Weekend 2014

5-6 April 2014

During this weekend, you can visit over 500 museums free of charge. Most museums also organize workshops and other activities for this special occasion. Museums, castles, architectonic highlights, theaters, windmills, historical structures and many more Dutch monuments are open free of charge. Last year the National Museum Weekend attracted a million visitors.

King’s Day 2014

26 April 2014

This year Holland will celebrate its first King’s Day. It is the biggest national holiday in Holland. It will be a unique festivity, with the best flea markets (or ‘free markets’, as the Dutch call them), shows and performances on every square, and that special Dutch brand of good cheer and amicability all around.

King’s Day used to be Queen’s Day and is a unique day on which all of Amsterdam turns into one big outdoor party. There is a flea market in Vondelpark, street parties, and shows and performances on every square, while the canals fill up with leisure boats full of partying people. Everyone wears orange clothes and accessories. Naturally King’s Day is not just celebrated in Amsterdam but throughout the country. The Hague celebrates with a huge party the night before King’s Day. Utrecht hosts a huge flea market every year. There are big fairs held throughout Holland.

Alkmaar Cheese Market

April to September

Alkmaar’s cheese market is the number one tourist attraction in the city. Every Friday from 10:00, from April until September, you can watch cheese being traded in the same time-honoured way as it has been for centuries. This colourful and folkloric spectacle takes place on the Waagplein (‘weighing square’). Cheese was traded on Waagplein square as early as 1365, when the city had only a single cheese scale. The cheeses are put in place early in the morning; the market masters and traders check if everything looks good. About 2,200 cheeses – 30,000 kilograms worth of cheese! – are lined up, waiting for the buyers. The cheese market would not be the spectacle it is without its cheese carriers. Still, the ‘placers’, ‘throwers’ and ‘scale masters’ are other important people on the market. They are all part of a guild with many traditions.


Annual Flower Parade

3-4 May 2014

The annual Flower Parade is a feast of beautiful colors and enticing aromas. 20 enormous floats and 30 cars richly decorated with flowers drive along a 42 kilometres route from Noordwijk to Haarlem, by way of Keukenhof. The Flower Parade starts on Saturday May 3th at 9.30am and finishes in Haarlem at 9pm. Around 3.30 pm the Flower Parade passes Keukenhof. On Sunday May 4th you can admire the work put into the Flower Parade in Haarlem, where the floats remain on view until 5pm.

Floraliën Netherlands

9-18 May 2014

Growers, agriculturalists, cut flowers, bulbs, tree nursery products and fruit and vegetables, will all be displayed at  FLORALIËN Netherlands, in the Brabanthallen, ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The Dutch Flower Arranging Championship, organized by the Organization of Florists (VBW, Vereniging Bloemist Winkeliers), will be held at the FLORALIËN.

In total, there are approximately 125,000-150,000 visitors expected to the event.

International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

16 May to 31 August 2014

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) was founded in 2001. The theme of this sixth edition of the IABR is Urban by Nature. The focus will be on studying the city through the lens of landscape architecture with events taking place across the city.

Leeuwarden Flower Market

29 May 2014

Every year on Ascension Day, Leeuwarden traditionally organises the ‘Bloemetjesmarkt’ or flower market. It is Holland’s longest market with a sea of flowers as far as the eye can see, right through the city’s centre on the Lange Marktstraat and Tesselschadestraat. The market embraces some two hundred stalls selling flowers and plants. From early in the morning to late in the afternoon, it draws thousands of people who return home with bags, buckets and sometimes carts filled with plants and flowers. On average the Leeuwarden flower market is visited by some 30,000 people per year.

The Mauritshuis, in The Hague to reopen in June 2014

The Mauritshuis in The Hague, home of Vermeer’s masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring, will open on 27 June 2014 following a major renovation. Described as a ‘jewel box’, the Mauritshuis is one of the most beautiful small museums in the world with a unique lakeside location in the heart of The Hague, the historic city that is home to the Dutch Parliament and Royal Family.

The reopening provides an opportunity for a major re-presentation of the museum’s world-famous collection of Dutch art including Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson, Carel Fabritius’ The Goldfinch and Jan Steen’s As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young. The museum features two of Vermeer’s greatest masterpieces, Girl with a Pearl Earring (c.1665) and View of Delft (c.1660 – 1661) and is the ideal starting point for the ‘Vermeer Trail’, which includes key locations associated with the artist.

The museum’s historic 17th century building has been painstakingly renovated and upgraded to meet the needs of the 21st century visitor. Many of the building’s original features and colour schemes have been faithfully restored and renewed. A major feature of the development is the opening of the new Royal Dutch Shell Wing on the adjacent site, which doubles the museum’s existing floor space and is linked to the historic building by a new light-filled underground foyer. The new wing provides new exhibition galleries, an education centre, a cafe and other modern visitor facilities.

The Mauritshuis is one of the most beautiful examples of Dutch Classicist architecture. It was built for and named after Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen between 1636 and 1644, the period when he was the governor of the Dutch colony in Brazil. In 1820, the Mauritshuis was bought by the Dutch state for the purpose of housing the Royal Collection of Paintings. The Mauritshuis opened as a museum in 1822. The architects for the Mauritshuis project are the Amsterdam-based practice, Hans van Heeswijk Architects.

Utrecht to host the Tour de France in 2015

In 2015 the Grand Départ of the 102nd Tour de France will take place in the city of Utrecht. This will be the sixth time the Grand Départ has taken place in Holland, a record number outside of France.

For more information on all these events go to www.holland.com

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