Museum Catharijne Convent, Utrecht

Ode to Antwerp, The Secret of the Dutch Masters - exhibition design

Without sixteenth-century Antwerp the remarkable flowering of Dutch painting in the seventeenth century would never have taken place. Ode to Antwerp shows 80 works of great masters like Maerten de Vos, Frans Floris, Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt van Rijn, taking visitors with them on an exploration of a turbulent story in which the leading roles were played by religious and economic migrants between Antwerp and Amsterdam in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Never before has such a major and all-encompassing exhibition been devoted to the subject.

The scenography aims to be as light and vibrant as the stunning works of art on display, without overshadowing them. The authentic spaces of the Museum Catharijne Convent – a former monastery – are mostly narrow and with lots of daylight, and therefor challenging for an exhibition of this scope and size. We decided to show the spaces in their own modest beauty and to create a second interior; spacious, layered, transparent and colourful. The use of typography is limited to only introduction narratives. All object information is offered in a textbook for all visitors.

Graphic design by Paul Bomers

Multimedia design by IJsfontein

Production by Planemos, PPS, Indyvideo, team Museum Catharijne Convent

Lighting by Jeffrey Steenbergen, 50lux

Photography by Mike Bink

Delivery 2023