This weekend I went to the new private museum Museum Voorlinden that is the talk of the town at the moment. Quote from Trouw 30-08-2016 (my translation): The new museum is situated on the 40-hectares estate Voorlinden and will be opened on September 10th by the king. Art collector Joop van Caldenborgh, – who made his fortune dealing in chemicals – had it built from private means to house his extensive collection modern and contemporary art”. Trouw 31-08-2016 “By the time of my last visit, one month ago, it had become self-evident that he [Caldenborgh] would notice the one pebble on the footpath that leads to the museum, and would kick it away. This was the moment it sunk in why he did not want any prying eyes prior to the opening: the museum had to be totally perfect and totally finished.”
Armed with the two reviews in Trouw I went prepared to be a little disappointed – but I wasn’t. I loved the landgoed which is dutch for estate. The Dutch word is a combination of ‘land’ and ‘good’ – to me, it is amazing there are spaces like this, carved out of the densely populated Randstad area. I do hope mr Caldenborgh business practices will hold up under public scrutiny, for I think I want to return again and again – and knowing that he used bad money would make this impossible.
The museum building is absolutely the right scale for the Landgoed and has been tailor-made for mr Caldenborgh’s art collection. It is indeed finished to a high degree – witness for example the signs showing where the firehose reel can be found – these are usually very ugly, but here they fit. The museum is uncluttered and the artworks get space. Even the museum shop was yummy. The annuals border that serpentines around the museum building is designed by Piet Oudolf, king of the Dutch Wave in garden design and a great plantsman. It was heaven walking in and around it – the design allows for close contact. Very difficult to photograph though, but I tried. The border will be replanted with perennials later in the year – oh to have the kind of money to be so extravagant.
The one thing I found less than exiting was the special exhibition about Ellsworth Kelley – his works in great numbers don’t add up, I think. His drawings of leaves and flowers were a revelation, though.