Done more walking in Amsterdam last wednesday – nice! On my way from Van Gogh Museum to Scheepvaartmuseum I noticed the poster below. Striking – and with the astounding text ‘I have HIV and God loves me’. Now who would want to advertise this? Is this a Dutch we are so very open about everything thing?

Checked the ‘net, and this poster is part of a campaign by hello gorgeous, a dutch foundation that aims to lift the stigma on HIV. They do a magazine, a website and a billboard campaign

I must confess this leaves me a little peeved. We have the state tinkering with our moral compass – they do spend a lot of money and thought on shaping us into ideal citizens. And where the state leaves off, there are foundations panting to take up the slack.  So, as a nation, we’re overloaded with people shaking their moral fingers in other peoples faces.

Then again, who am I to disparage a worthy cause? Thinking and walking and thinking some more, I decided on a new goal for myself:  form fewer opinions and be more open for things. This will shake the habits of a lifetime, I am sure. It also feels curiously liberating.


Anyway, a few things from our meeting with Nikola Eltink, sector manager Museale zaken and sponsor for The Art of Making Art Exhibitions:

  • the Van Gogh is  restructuring its organisation – education and information services are responding to the opportunities and challenges of the ‘net also are becoming more important;
  • they are digitizing their collection and it’s provenance – for internal use mainly;
  • one of their main things: show how van Gogh still inspires people – artists, writers, illustratiors, …
  • 85% international visitors, 15% dutch. Average age around 30 – which is very young for museum visitors. They want more kids (schools), more dutch, more families.
  • they have a computer model to predict visitors’  numbers and behaviour  –  want to spread the numbers so the pressure gets off the top times;
  • 20 % of the visitors picks up an audio tour – people who did rate them very highly;
  • 3D images have copyright (as 2D photos of artworks have not) because there are more choices to be made in making the picture;
  • The van Gogh won’t set original and reproduction side-by-side – it detracts from the original?


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