Museum Vrolik, Amsterdam UMC

museological design, adaptations and upgrades

In Museum Vrolik – a collection that was amassed in the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century – the human body is the central focus.

The museum is named after Gerard Vrolik (1775-1859) and his son Willem (1801-1863), who were both Professor of Anatomy in Amsterdam. In their time the museum was a private collection. Since 1984 Museum Vrolik has been located in the Academic Medical Centre of Amsterdam.

Over the years we transformed the museum into a more accessible, public presentation with appropriate climate, lighting and interpretation layers. All design solutions are made with respect for the historic value of this unique collection (both artefacts as historical showcases and furniture). We aim for a sincere museological experience with a strong emphasis on the research and reference, to keep away from the ever so popular cabinets of curiosities or ‘freak shows’.

The latest addition is a small scale desktop ticket sales and museum shop based on the existing, historic furniture. We also developed an intensive handout interpretation system for all 10.000 artefacts.

Museum Vrolik, Dr. Laurens de Rooy
In cooperation with Paul Bomers (graphics) and Hans Wolf (lighting)
First phase (before 2013) by OPERA Amsterdam
Photography by Paul Bomers and ANP
Delivery: phased