Statement 27 Aug. 2021

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.