May 30, 2011

Wereldmuseum Rotterdam is 125 years old. 125 masterpieces exhibition mark the anniversary

125 Masterpieces 
Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam 
23 June - 13 November 2011

The Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam is 125 years old. It has survived a wave of criticism, completed a total renovation in a single year, recovered its original grandeur, published eight catalogues within one year, mounted four major exhibitions, and cooperated in international projects with Venice, Beijing, Taichung and Taipei. 


125 Masterpieces mark the anniversary

To mark the anniversary, collectors and connoisseurs of non-western art have selected the 125 most beautiful works of art from the museum's collection for the exhibition 125 Masterpieces. Beauty is the exhibition's keyword. In the hushed atmosphere of soberly furnished rooms, where each masterpiece is displayed aesthetically and on its own, all attention is drawn to the breathtaking refinement and the powerful expression and vitality of works from Tibet, China, Japan, Oceania, America, Africa and Indonesia. In the context of religion and spirituality, these works are comparable to those of Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo in western art. In terms of expression, they can be compared to Picasso, Max Ernst and Roberto Matta. Only when the best products of a culture are shown, is a claim of cultural authenticity justified.

Exhibition Catalogue

The Wereldmuseum is also presenting the masterpieces in a five-part catalogue: I. Restored to former glory; II. Tibet-China, Japan; III. Indonesia & Islamic art; IV. Oceania; and V. Africa & America. Each part contains text and photos that illustrate the texture and beauty of the objects. The part called 'Restored to former glory' recounts the history and development of the Wereldmuseum, which began as the Royal Yacht Club of Prince Hendrik and has evolved into a progressive, contemporary museum with a rich, historical art collection. The five-part catalogue was created in collaboration with external art historians, collectors and connoisseurs.