The renovated Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics celebrates its 100th anniversary

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden celebrates its centenary anniversary with a major reopening this year. A completely new presentation of the permanent collection on the first floor is being installed, and the foyer, the shop, the ticket area, tearoom and garden are being completely renewed. On 9 October, the museum closes for the final stage of the renovation. The newly renovated Princessehof will be open to the public from 2 December. With the new arrangement of the permanent collection and no less than four exhibitions featuring contemporary ceramics, the museum is ready for Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018.

In 2017 it will be 100 years since the Frisian notary Nanne Ottema opened the doors of the Princessehof for the first time. The centenary anniversary will be celebrated after the renovation with the reopening of the museum. In addition to a new arrangement of the permanent collection, the Princessehof presents the exhibition In Motion with large contemporary ceramic installations from East and West, a new edition of EKWC@Princessehof with Caroline Coolen, and two exhibitions with new works by artist Johan Tahon and designer Floris Wubben.

Renewed museum

The renovation of the Princessehof covers three areas. The museum collection, including an important collection of Chinese porcelain, Delftware and Dutch Art Nouveau and Art Deco-ceramics, are being given a new presentation. An accessible and attractive layout shows the influences of East and West and that ceramics are of all ages and for everyone. The foyer has been rebuilt. The entrance to the museum has been relocated to the shop, the children's studio has been moved to the first floor and the tearoom has been moved to a better location with a terrace in the garden. The palace garden is also undergoing a complete renovation and an additional entrance to the museum is being installed on the garden side. The exhibition rooms on the ground floor and the second floor remain available for cultural-historical exhibitions and contemporary ceramics in visual arts and design.

In Motion: Ceramic Reflections in Contemporary Art

In Motion is the largest contemporary art exhibition ever to be presented in the Princessehof. Monumental installations by established artists and emerging talent from East and West fill the halls. With their work, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (1961), Roger Hiorns (1975), Meekyoung Shin (1967), Claire Verkoyen (1959), Geng Xue (1983) and David Zink Yi (1973), show that ceramics continue to evolve in all countries. The installations range from a life-size squid in a pool of ink to an immersive experience in which a bath with dozens of porcelain bowls lights up in a dark room. The exhibition can be seen from 2 December 2017 to 6 May 2018.

Johan Tahon: Monk

The figurative work of the leading Flemish sculptor Johan Tahon (1965) is exhibited on the second floor of the Princessehof. Works include contemplative figures and albarelli (apothecary jars), supplemented with small sculptures. It is Tahon's first solo exhibition of his ceramic work in a museum, and is open to the public from 2 December 2017 to 25 November 2018.

Design #3: Floris Wubben

In this solo exhibition, designer Floris Wubben (1983) presents his new works, made with self-designed machines. The designer gives shape to functional objects that, due to his artistic treatment, are more redolent of sculpture than design. The exhibition can be seen from 2 December 2017 to 25 November 2018.

EKWC@Princessehof: Caroline Coolen

The series EKWC@Princessehof presents exhibitions of work by artists who have had a residency at the European Ceramic Work Center in Oisterwijk. Caroline Coolen (BE, 1975) has been invited to exhibit her rugged sculptures from 2 December 2017. The ceramic assemblages are reminiscent of thistles, for the artist a metaphor for the untameable. The exhibition can be seen until 6 May 2018.

The renovation of the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is made possible with the financial support of BankGiro Loterij, Ir. Abe Bonnema Stichting, Wassenbergh-Clarijs-Fontein Stichting, Stichting Dioraphte, VSBfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Van Achterbergh-Domhof, Het Nieuwe Stads Weeshuis, Stichting Woudsend Anno 1816, St. Anthony Gasthuis, Meindersma-Sybenga Stichting, Stichting Dorodarte, Leeuwarder ondernemersfonds, GGB Bolhuis Fonds, P.W. Janssen’s Friesche Stichting, Stichting Herbert Duintjer Fonds, Boelstra-Olivier Stichting and KLM.

Concept & photography: Heleen Haijtema & Tryntsje Nauta, make up: Saskia Wagenvoort, model: Sterre Toussaint, tulips: Haakman Flowerbulbs B.V.
Babs Haenen, Farewell to Hsung-Yang, 2002, Amsterdam, coloured porcelain, 25 x 45 x 29 cm, Collection The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, acquired with support from the Mondriaan Fund


Campaign image, concept & photography: Heleen Haijtema & Tryntsje Nauta, make up: Saskia Wagenvoort, model: Sterre Toussaint, white dress: Elsien Gringhuis, tulips: Haakman Flowerbulbs B.V.
Flower holder decorated with Chinese motifs, c. 1690, De Metaale Pot, Delft (Lambertus Cleffius period, 1679–91), 61 x 48 x 40 cm, The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, loan Ottema-Kingma Foundation        

Concept & photography: Heleen Haijtema & Tryntsje Nauta, tulips: Haakman Flowerbulbs B.V.
Vase with a decoration of a three-toed dragon, China, Ming-Yongle dynasty (1403–24), porcelain, 43 x 33 cm, The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, loan Ottema-Kingma Foundation