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Rotterdam Cultural Histories #20: The Museum of Education and Art

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The twentieth edition of Rotterdam Cultural Histories is a documentary display about the Museum of Education and Art sited on Witte de Withstraat from 1880 to 1884. This short-lived museum in Rotterdam was located just a few steps away from Kunstinstituut Melly’s building, which, for its part, was constructed in the 1870s as an all-women civic school.

The Museum of Education and Art was founded by the Rotterdam publishers J. van der Hoeven and D. Buys. Their approach to the educational vocation of museums was peculiar, or certainly more entrepreneurial and less sacred than we deem so today: on the one hand, the museum's exhibitions presented artistic, scientific, and pedagogical materials; on the other hand, these exhibitions also functioned as commercial displays, since its many items were for sale. This two-fold purpose promoted art as tools, and that learning could be done in a newfound context.

Documentary, immersive, and small in scale, this exhibition presents materials of the Museum of Education and Art drawn from Stadsarchief Rotterdam, including an 1880s neighborhood map; the museum brochure, promotional materials, and floor-plan, as well as pages of the inventory for sale of the museum's collection. This presentation is part of this exhibition series Rotterdam Cultural Histories by Kunstinstituut Melly and TENT. Also inspiring the presentation is Melly's Anchored ongoing project series, investigating histories of our building, our street, and our neighbors. 

Rotterdam Cultural Histories #20: The Museum of Education and Art is organized by a team at Kunstinstituut Melly: Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Julija Mockutė, Paul van Gennip, Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos, and Jeroen Lavèn. We thank Lonneke Visser, Lineke van den Bout, Maaike Heemskerk, Tim van der Post, Corinne Lampen, Martijn Verbon and Janneke Pierhagen and acknowledge the historical work done by Luca van Buren and Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum.

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Stadsarchief Rotterdam

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