Amsterdam

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History

Dig into an Incredible Compendium of Objects Excavated from the Bottom of Amsterdam’s Amstel River

July 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

During a nine year period in the early 2000’s a new metro line was excavated along the banks of Amsterdam’s Amstel river. The urban waterway had to be completely pumped, which gave archeologists a rare opportunity to examine the full spectrum of everyday and extraordinary objects which had fallen to the bottom of the prominent river. Below the Surface, a website created by the Department of Archaeology; Monuments and Archaeology (MenA), the City of Amsterdam; and their Chief Technology Officer, serves as an interactive compendium with access to images and information of 19,000 of the nearly 700,000 findings from the excavation site.

On the website you can explore the findings by date or dig into Below the Surface’s selection of object stories which provide context to specific pieces pulled from the river. An historical background is provided for select buttons, tokens, pottery segments, stamps, books, and other findings such as a 19th-century pipe cover decorated by a portrait of the Dutch navel lieutenant Jan Carel Josephus van Speijk or a 16th-century belt which bears the inscription: “Ik bin en ieger nu ik hebbe dat mi behaget” (or “I am a hunter and I now have what delights me”).

Meticulously divided display cases of the found objects are installed in the new metro line’s Rokin Station and can be visited by the public. A short documentary of the project can be found on Below the Surface’s website, with English subtitles coming soon. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art

A Keith Haring Mural Painted in 1986 and Under Wraps for 30 Years Has Been Revealed in Amsterdam

June 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Keith Haring’s recently unveiled mural in Amsterdam. Photo: Hanna Hachula, courtesy Stedelijk Museum

Completed over just two days in 1986, a Keith Haring mural in Amsterdam has been revealed once again after nearly thirty years out of sight. The famed artist completed the 40-foot tall-white line painting on an outside wall during his (indoor) exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum. However, it disappeared from view a few years later when the brick facade was weatherboarded to improve climate control; the building was a storage site for the museum’s collections. Over the last ten years, graffiti artist Aileen Middel (a.k.a. Mick La Rock) pushed for the mural—his largest in Europe—to be revealed once again. The restoration of the mural was made possible because the museum changed its storage location and the building is now a Markt Kwartier West grocery store and distribution center. (via Artnet)

The mural being unveiled. Photos: Mick La Rock

Haring painting the mural in 1986. Photo: Patricia Steur

 

 



Art Design

This New Cycle and Pedestrian Tunnel in Amsterdam Features an 80,000 Tile Mural Inspired by Cornelis Boumeester

March 17, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Recently constructed by Benthem Crouwel, this expansive new pedestrian and cycling tunnel in Amsterdam features a fantastic tile mural depicting a fleet of ships in rough seas. The 361-foot path called the Cuyperspassage connects the city center to the IJ waterfront and sees some 15,000 commuters daily.

The darker cycling lane incorporates sound-absorbing asphalt and steel grates, while the pedestrian side is almost completely wrapped in a mural of 80,000 delft blue tiles. The artwork was designed by artist Irma Boom, heavily inspired by the work of Dutch tile artist Cornelis Boumeester. The two lanes are further delineated by LEDs to create a safe multi-function corridor with minimal barriers. From Benthem Crouwel:

Along the footpath wall is a tile tableau designed by Irma Boom Office. The design steps off from a restored work by the Rotterdam tile painter Cornelis Boumeester (1652-1733). His tile panel depicting the Warship Rotterdam and the Herring Fleet is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Irma Boom replaced the original crest on the stern with the Amsterdam coat of arms. The cyclist or pedestrian leaves the old historic part of Amsterdam through Cuyperspassage and heads towards ‘new Amsterdam’ in the north, or vice versa. The tableau fades away towards the IJ-river, the lines of the original work gradually dissolving. Then it builds up again in an abstract form from light to dark blue, as if encouraging cyclists to slow down as the ferry comes into view.

You can see more views and read more about the Cuyperspassage on both Arch Daily and Designboom.

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Art Photography

An Amsterdam Museum Asks Visitors to Trade Their Selfie Sticks for Pencils and Paper

November 30, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

Banier op gebouw

All images provided by the Rijksmuseum

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Rijksmuseum, an arts and history museum located in the heart of Amsterdam, is asking visitors to put down their cameras and pick up a pen next time they enter the museum’s walls. Rijksmuseum’s new campaign #startdrawing wants to slow down observers, encouraging attendees to draw sculptures and paintings that interest them rather than snapping a picture and moving on to the next work in quick succession.

By slowing down the process of observation, the visitor is able to get closer to the artist’s secrets, the museum explains, engaging with each work by actively doing instead of passively capturing. “In our busy lives we don’t always realize how beautiful something can be,” said Wim Pijbes, the general director of the Rijksmuseum. “We forget how to look really closely. Drawing helps because you see more when you draw.” The museum has begun to highlight drawings completed by participants on their Instagram as well as their blog associated with the campaign here.

Banning cameras (or softly dissuading attendees from using them) is also a way to bring the focus from the selfie an attendee may take with a work of art to the masterpiece before them. A perfectly timed exhibition titled “Selfies on Paper” is currently on display in the museum — 90 self-portraits from well known artists from the 17th to 20th century spread through each floor of the museum. The exhibition shows how artists captured themselves on paper while acting as a challenge to those who might have thought selfie sticks were the only tool appropriate for self preservation. “Selfies on Paper” will run though the winter. (via Hyperallergic)

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Amazing Photography

An Impressive Aerial View and Timelapse of Record-Breaking ‘Sail Amsterdam’ 2015

September 1, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Billed as the largest free nautical event in the world, Sail Amsterdam is a quinquennial (every five years) gathering of 600+ boats and tall ships that sail in a circuit in the Netherland’s North Sea Canal before mooring in Amsterdam. The 2015 event was held just last week and according to the NL Times a record-breaking 2.7 million people arrived to watch the maritime spectable that included at least 50 tall ships and hundreds of smaller watercraft. This aerial photo and a timelapse filmed by Boyd Baptist really captures the enormity of the event. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art

A 3D Ship Projected onto Curtains of Water at the Amsterdam Light Festival by visualSKIN

December 19, 2014

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Janus van den Eijnden

Romania-based architecture collective visualSKIN arrived at the Amsterdam Light Festival with a splash this year, installing a three-dimensional projection of a 17-century ship against a backdrop of water. Titled ‘Ghost Ship,‘ the installation makes use of two intersecting images projected onto perpendicular curtains of water that can be viewed from multiple angles. The piece is in reference to a Dutch East India Company ship, The Amsterdam, that was wrecked in a storm during its maiden voyage to Batavia in 1749.

In a fortunate coincidence, and unbeknownst to visualSKIN beforehand, Ghost Ship also rests on the former site of a large water fountain designed by sculptor Albert P. Termote that was removed more than a decade ago. You can see more views of the installation right here. (via Designboom)