Museum Voorlinden


Museum Voorlinden is a Dutch gallery of modern and contemporary art, based in Wassenaar, South Holland. We recently took a trip to Den Haag (The Hague) from Antwerp and decided to spend a day at Voorlinden.

A big love of contemporary art drew us to the beautifully designed gallery on the Sunday of our visit. Not being that savvy with the transport, we decided to walk the hour and a half from The Hague. Luckily it was a beautiful day and just helped build the excitement.

The gallery itself was designed by architect Dirk Jan Postel of Kraaijvanger architects and only opened in September 2016. The symmetrical building sits perfectly inside it’s beautiful, spacious gardens.

The exterior is made from stone and glass. The huge windows are to help include the art of nature into the gallery space. The museum consists of 20 galleries each with high ceilings and a glass roof, letting all the available light inside to light up the space.

The permanent collection is of a fantastic standard and includes pieces by James Turrell, Roni Horn and Ron Mueck. My favourite permanent piece is Leandro Erlich's Swimming Pool. The pool is life size and divided into two separate spaces. A thin layer of water in a transparent pane splits the two spaces and gives the illusion of people being under the water. Once you've admired the top, you can go downstairs and into the exterior piece of the artwork, it gives you a strange, disorientated feeling of being under water.

Above shows Ron Mueck's incredible 'Couple under an Umbrella' sculpture. Dressed in a normal swimming costume a woman sits under the brightly coloured umbrella with her male companion resting on her. Her detailed hand leaning against the floor supports them both. The work is huge, life-like and compelling. It makes you wonder what are they doing there, are they inspired by real people? The hair, the wrinkles and the expressions make them feel so real.

Entering the Richard Serra installation, we didn't really know what to expect. Within a blink you've completely lost all sense of direction. Big, rusty sloping walls lead the way. We were fascinated by the echoes created among the steel sculpture, which is 4 metres high and 18 metres long. You are lost in Serra's work. It's a maze; do we leave where we entered? Do we need to go back the way we came to escape? Who knows? Another disorientating piece inside the Voorlinden.

Final favourite has to be Sam Taylor-Johnson's Sigh (2008). A moving image collaboration with the BBC Concert Orchestra and composer Anne Dudley. The dark room shows 8 screens in a circle, in the middle a pile of bean bags and seats. We entered to the beautiful sound of the orchestra slowly filling the room. As you enter the centre of screens you can't help but follow the music around the space. All the sections need each other to create the piece. It's stunning and a hidden gem inside the gallery.
The building also includes an auditorium, a library and a fantastic shop. Everyone loves a gallery shop, right? I'd highly recommend Museum Voorlinden to anyone. Whether you're a lone ranger looking for a day out or you fancy a family outing, this place is not to be missed!

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