Two instances this week of how relevant the national (Dutch) Bank Giro Lottery is to hard-working museum designers: first, Museum Boerhaave in Leiden received a €600,000 grant from the lottery funds for 2013 thanks to a proposal partially sweetened with designs by Todd van Hulzen, and secondly, a kick-off for the 2014 round of grants by the National Fortification Museum in Naarden for which Todd van Hulzen will also do the preliminary designs. In the current climate of spending cuts in the cultural sector museums have to appeal to grant givers. To do this they need to have a sound proposal, and that’s where our design work comes in.
Museum Boerhaave. In early 2012 we teamed up with Museum Boerhaave and Studio Louter to create a grant proposal to help fund the museum’s new renovation and exhibit plans. We created a sexy, if provisional, design for the interior of the new permanent exhibit on the lower floor. Now that the money is in, Museum Boerhaave will undergo a new round of tendering to see who will actually execute the project. We will certainly lobby for ourselves, and we rate our chances as good. We had a wonderful time working on the exhibit “Newton in Nederland” at Boerhaave, and can’t wait to be working with them again, this time on a more permanent project.
Nationale Vestingmuseum. For the National Fortification Museum in the city of Naarden, just east of Amsterdam, we are asked to create designs for their new permanent location in the barracks, armories and tunnels in Naarden’s fortified bastions. We will have to keep our excitement at a minimum for now, as the first step is simply fundraising and grant proposals. An important part of that process is of course the “artist’s impression”. We hope our designs will be compelling enough to sway the judging committees in 2014. In any case, the Fortification Museum is something of a boy’s dream to do work for. If any of you have ever collected toy soldiers and played at mock battle, you will know what I mean. Additionally, our attention always goes out to projects where history and aesthetics cross each other. Naarden is an agglomeration of 17th, 18th and 19th century defensive constructions, and is unique in the world. See the blog post below on Archived Imagery, Theodore de Bry’s Fortificatio.