A room with a view

A room with a view – we met for dKvhT purposes in the boardroom at the Van Gogh Museum this week. The weather was rotten, but what a view!

To be seen from the Van Gogh boardroom:
– Stedelijk Museum, we see the corner of the Stedelijk Museum building and a row of people at the entrance
– Concertgebouw, the classical building right behind the work in corten steel by Richard Serra
– the Rijksmuseum, the domes in the background on the second picture.

Temples for higher culture each and every one! In my next life I’ll live in Amsterdam, in a houseboat on one of the canals and within canoeing distance of the public library, the beautiful OBA building on the OosterdokIsland. Were I do training and gorge on books.

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We had a great lecture about project management at the Van Gogh by one of the two project managers they employ. We also toured the exhibition ‘ Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh’ with curator Edwin Becker and focused on the strategy behind the design, colour scheme and lighting.

A few of the things I picked up:
– a colophon is best placed at the entrance  – people skip it when placed at the end;
– the wall was horizontally divided using a darker and lighter shade of a pistache-like color. Done to break up the great height of the walls. I only noticed it when Edwin pointed it out – very subtle.
– visitors like open spaces better than small ones – they don’t like a labyrinth;
– an entree is needed to gather the visitors into the exhibition.  It is to tell a story about the artist(s), but a simple timeline isn’t interesting enough. The timeline was at the entree to the second floor;
– lighting was pretty low. Van Gogh’s paintings get 70 lux, other paintings go even lower. This has to be negotiated with the people that give the picture on loan. Also a safety plan (which pictures get rescued first when the museum is on fire?);
–  minimum viewing distance for paintings is roped off;
– drawings are behind glass and can be seen from up close (obviously, they need to be seen from up close);
– optimum height for hanging is 1.60, a little more is also good as pictures are best seen from below;
– dilemma: how do people find their way from first floor to second floor. The Van Gogh museum architect did them no favours here – there is no natural flow up the stairs. They now blanked the view through the first-floor doors to the reception area, and hope this helps to get more people up the stairs (do they use mystery shoppers?);
– check how wheelchair-bound people can see the exhibition.

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