Must-See Exhibitions In Rotterdam This Autumn – Winter


Must-See Exhibitions In Rotterdam This Autumn – Winter

The city of Rotterdam, being the second largest in The Netherlands, is getting more and more hip and happening in the last couple of years and is in our eyes becoming a serious competitor to Amsterdam, both from a tourist as local point of view. The city has recently even been referred to as ‘the Design Capital of The Netherlands‘ by National Geographic thanks to its impressive modern architecture and more and more cool places like galleries, bars and shops popping up throughout town.

Think for example of the Markthal, but also of buildings like the Cube Houses or the by Rem Koolhaas designed De Rotterdam next to the Erasmus bridge. And, of course, let’s not forget about Rotterdam’s museums, which regularly have some spectacular shows on offer, like also this autumn.

Below you’ll find an overview of the must-see exhibitions in Rotterdam you can see during the coming months. Many great exhibitions, among which the Temporary Fashion Museum and the Keith Haring exhibition in the Kunsthal are our favourites so far.

The Temporary Fashion Museum

Nieuwe Instituut

13 September 2015 to 8 May 2016


Try them out – pumps in all sizes at the Temporary Fashion Museum

The first thoughts that will come to mind when hearing the words ‘fashion museum’ will probably be about individual fashion items, like costumes and accessories. The Temporary Fashion Museum is however much more than that. Keeping in mind that the initiator, the Nieuwe Instituut, stands for an innovative approach to the themes covered by its exhibitions, this shouldn’t come as a surprise though. Visitors will for example not only be able to admire, try out and buy the clothing on display, but will also be invited to make their own clothing and reflect over topics like the future of fashion and the effects of the fashion industry from a sustainability point of view.

Keith Haring – The Political Line


20 September 2015 to 7 February 2016


Diverse works by Keith Haring

Most of us will recognize Keith Haring’s colourful and playful images as soon as you see them. The social and political thoughts behind his works are however full of details to explore in more details. During the exhibition The Political Line the Kunsthal is highlighting especially these aspects of the artist’s work (read our impressions of it in the article linked to here), showing how relevant Haring’s work still is 25 years after his death in 1990.

The exhibition further shows the development Haring went through from an artistic point of view, the influence street culture had on his work and vice versa, plus his mastering of that what only a few other artists seem to master, namely the perfect line.

The works presented come from among others the Keith Haring Foundation, but also from the collections of museums and private collectors and are unlikely to be seen together again, so make sure not to miss this exhibition when you have a chance.

Red Wealth. Soviet Design 1950-1980


26 September 2015 to 14 February 2016

In communist Russia consumer culture wasn’t really known until the 1950s. This started changing as from the 1959 Moscow exhibition ‘The American Way of Living‘. After this novelty, initially a lot of Western designs were copied, but gradually the Russians developed their own style, marked by words like robust and sustainability.
During the 1960s design even became a cultural policy in the Soviet Union – although by the Russians referred to as technical aesthetics – something emphasized by the set up of the VNIITE, an organization which was in charge of ensuring that goods were designed responsibly and were taking into consideration the basic needs of all consumers.
During the exhibition Red Wealth. Soviet Design 1950-1980 360 of the best examples of Soviet design from the period 1950s until the end-of-the-era 1980s will be exhibited, ranging from real retro products to graphic designs.
Poster for the 22nd Olympic Games, Moskow

Poster for the 22nd Olympic Games, Moscow, 1980 © courtesy Moscow Design Museum
Designer M. Lukyanov

Nevalyashka toy Russian tilting doll

Nevalyashka toy, Russian tilting doll, 1970
© Moscow Design Museum

Horst P. Horst, Photographer of Style

Nederlands Fotomuseum

26 September 2015  to 10 January 2016

This autumn the Dutch Fotomuseum (Nederlands Fotomuseum) is presenting the first major retrospective exhibition of the German photographer Horst P. Horst, one of the most important fashion photographers of the twentieth century. During his life Horst regularly worked for the magazine Vogue and people like Coco Channel and Salvador Dali. He also often portrayed Hollywood celebrities – like for example Marlene Dietrich – and their houses. Naturally his work is not only about fashion, but as much about art and design.

Through the presentation of his pictures, haute couture objects, his notes and his sketches and the vintage fashion magazines containing his work the exhibition gives you a good feeling of Horst’s photography skills and sense of style. Last but not least, the exhibition puts his work in a broad cultural and historical context, making the exhibition as interesting for photography as for fashion fans.


Horst, Muriel Maxwell, Amerikaanse Vogue cover, 1 juli 1939. Courtesy Condé Nast / Horst Estate.

Tip for those interested in both visiting this exhibition and the Temporary Fashion Museum: both institutions offer a combi-ticket of € 15,- including entrance to both.

From Bosch to Bruegel – Uncovering Everyday Life

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

10 October 2015 until 17 January 2016

This autumn Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen gives you the opportunity to see how everyday life in the sixteenth century looked like through the eyes of painters like among others Jheronimus Bosch, Lucas van Leyden and Pieter Bruegel. From dancing peasants to brothels and skating parties, nothing escaped the eyes of these painters, who often depicted the details of everyday life with a lot of irony and self-mockery.

As part of the exhibition you can also witness the restoration of the five-hundred year old painting of Saint Christopher by Hieronymus Bosch in the museum’s Art Studio, before it will travel to the Noordbrabants Museum in the Dutch city of Den Bosch and the Museo Nacional del Prado in the Spanish capital Madrid in 2016 in view of the 5ooth anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch (yes, both Hieronymus and Jheronimus work fine as spellings).

Restoration Christopus Hieronymus Bosch Boijmans Van Beuningen

The Restoration of Saint Christopus by Hieronymus Bosch at the Boijmans Van Beuningen. Photo courtesy of Boijmans Van Beuningen

Have you been to any of the above exhibitions in Rotterdam yet? Was there something you specifically liked or maybe disliked? We’re curious to hear your experiences, so let us know in the comments. Also, if there are further exhibitions you’d like us to include, please send us a message and we’ll take your advice into account.

Not going to Rotterdam, but anywhere else in Europe? Click here for our other exhibition overviews and reviews.

About The Author: Lydian Brunsting

'To be with Art is all we ask'- Gilbert and George. A quote that has stayed with me since I first saw it a couple of years ago. The word I would add though is 'travel' and that is, in fact, Art Weekenders, our new creation. The Art Weekenders project combines my passions for art, travel and photography, while we - at the same time - like to inspire and hopefully help you to prepare your art getaway. I am also photographer, writer and developer of the photoblog SHOuTography, a project that I started during a year of travelling through South-America to explore my life-long passion for photography.