Towards a Museum

We are working towards the establishment of a new museum for contemporary art in Amsterdam. This page will keep you updated on the latest developments. 

Statement 17 Sept.

We are happy that the City Council has agreed to the purchase of the monumental old court house at the Parnassusweg in Amsterdam from the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf. This makes it possible for Hartwig Art Foundation to rent this building from the City of Amsterdam for a new museum for contemporary art in the Zuidas district in Amsterdam.

We are now working hard to further develop our plans and obtain the necessary permits to make the building suitable for the new museum. It will be an accessible and approachable museum and a place for new talents from all creative disciplines. Above all, it wants to be a host for artists. Art will not only be shown, but also created. Therefore, in addition to exhibition spaces, the museum will also have studios, accommodation for artists, spaces for workshops and catering. The museum will not be building its own collection, but will donate its purchases to the ‘Rijkscollectie’, the art collection of the Dutch state.

We are pleased to announce that in designing and renovating the building, we are assured of the commitment of an inspiring group of designers and advisors, including architects Samir Bantal and Rem Koolhaas (AMO/OMA), Philippe Braun (OMA) and Jan Loerakker (LOA), the engineers of Oosterhoff in collaboration with sustainability experts Transsolar and LOLA Landscape Architects. The aim is to create a building that accommodates the dynamic world of contemporary art and already meets the climate requirements of 2050 upon completion.

In the coming period, we will discuss this further with the Bureau Monumenten en Archeologie (the Bureau for Monuments and Archaeology in The Netherlands), the CRK committee (which advises the Amsterdam municipal authorities about the quality of spatial developments), the neighbourhood and the authorities involved.

In the meantime Hartwig Art Foundation supports various initiatives in the field of contemporary art. A short overview:

  • Twice a year, with the support of the Hartwig Art Foundation, the Utrecht Centraal Museum will organise a solo exhibition in the Oud Amelisweerd (a country house on the outskirts of the city of Utrecht) of work by Dutch artists who are renowned in both the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Together with de Balie, a presentation of the video artist Tony Cokes is being prepared for the end of 2021.
  • Together with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Hartwig Art Foundation is working on a performative exhibition by Anne Imhof in the autumn of 2022. The Hartwig Art Foundation shares the enthusiasm for Imhof’s performative and interdisciplinary approach with the Stedelijk. In 2020, the two organisations realised an exhibition of two groundbreaking films by the acclaimed Arthur Jafa with de Balie.
  • Through the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund, the Hartwig Art Foundation supports a group of artists in the creation of new and ambitious work on an ongoing basis. The artworks from the project year 2020/2021 will be presented in autumn and winter of this year in small and medium sized institutions spread over the Netherlands.

Statement 27 Aug.

Parnassusweg 220, Collection Stadsarchief Amsterdam, photo J.M. Arsath Ro’is

The Hartwig Art Foundation is in talks with the City of Amsterdam about a new museum for contemporary art in Amsterdam. The final decision on this matter lies with the City Council of Amsterdam, which will meet and decide on the matter in mid-September.

Our ambition is to add a leading international museum of contemporary art to the rich institutional art landscape of Amsterdam. The plan is to establish the museum in the monumental building of the former court building on the Parnassusweg.

If the decision of the City Council is positive, the Hartwig Art Foundation will rent the former Court building from the City Council. We will cover all costs ourselves and will also renovate and develop the building at our own risk and expense. The museum will not request a subsidy from the city. The Amsterdam Arts Council has issued a positive recommendation on the plans. The Board is pleased with this initiative and considers it a great gift to the city.

The plan is for the museum – with the temporary name Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) – to become a centre where artists and thinkers can produce and exhibitions of new art can be held. Therefore, in addition to exhibition spaces, the museum will also have studios, accommodation for artists and makers of many disciplines, workshops and diverse hospitality formats. The MCA wants to be a host and home for artists and creative producers, it will not build its own collection. The art created by the artists and selectively purchased by the MCA will be donated to the collection of the Dutch state (‘Rijkscollectie’). Inspired by the national heritage idea of the ‘Collectie Nederland’, we want to contribute to a collection of contemporary art that is available to all institutions within the country and also internationally.

Our vision for the MCA is to have everything under one roof: the public spaces to exhibit, learn, share and discuss, the people who produce knowledge and art, and the facilities to experiment and create. This concept of a contemporary institution and public forum that offers living, working and exhibition spaces combined with gardens and kitchens is a reinterpretation of the model that museums had in their historical beginnings.

We want to become a public place and a forum dedicated to artists and creative production to explore the questions of our time. We want to engage in dialogue and active encounters with the many voices of makers, audiences and communities, and be a home for all who contribute to our diversity.

In the transformation and expansion of the monumental building into a museum, the MCA will commit itself to the highest standards of long-term ecological thinking.