Museum Rotterdam appoints new director Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Museum Rotterdam appoints new director Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

ROTTERDAM, 11 July 2024 – Léontine Meijer-van Mensch has been appointed as the new director of Museum Rotterdam, effective 1 October 2024. Meijer-van Mensch, a distinguished professional in the cultural sector, brings extensive international experience to the role.

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch appointed as director of Museum Rotterdam

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (1972) will become the new director of Museum Rotterdam on 1 October 2024. The museum, which is actively developing a new city museum, welcomes Meijer-van Mensch, a professional with a substantial international background in the cultural sector. She is currently the director of the ethnological museums of Leipzig, Dresden, and Herrnhut. Previously, she was the deputy director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin and a lecturer at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam. Meijer-van Mensch will take over from the current interim director, Siebe Weide, who will support her until the end of the year.

“We welcome Léontine with open arms. With her can-do attitude, optimism, and courage, we see her as the perfect person to further develop the new city museum of Rotterdam.” – Patrick van Thiel, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Museum Rotterdam Foundation

Work experience

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch studied history and Jewish studies in Amsterdam, Jerusalem, and Berlin, and European cultural preservation in Frankfurt/Oder. She has worked on various research programmes and exhibition projects in Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, serving as a researcher, lecturer, and (deputy) director. Additionally, Meijer-van Mensch is the Chair of the Ethics Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

“I am looking forward to living, working, and going out in Rotterdam as a Rotterdammer. The city museum (stadsmuseum) for me is the place where all of this comes together, a place where you love to go, a place that connects. I hope that this can also be true for many Rotterdammers and those who visit the city.” – Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Museum Rotterdam's current activities

Museum Rotterdam currently operates one location open to the public and education: Museum Rotterdam '40-'45 NU at the Coolhaven. This site is dedicated to the Second World War and the bombing of May 1940. Simultaneously, the museum is working on its visibility in the city through the lending of collection pieces, educational programmes, lectures, city walks, and presentations.

Development of the new city museum

Museum Rotterdam is currently working hard on developing a new city museum. This new museum aims to preserve, share, and bring to life Rotterdam's heritage, inspiring and connecting people. In collaboration with the municipality of Rotterdam, efforts are underway to find a permanent location for the new museum. In her new role, Léontine Meijer-van Mensch will shape and give substance to the new city museum.

Location and directions

The Museum Rotterdam '40-'45 NU is located at Coolhaven. This area is easily accessible by public transport and car. It is a short walk from Coolhaven metro station, and parking is available nearby. For detailed directions and to plan your visit, use the following map: 

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen renovation update

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen renovation update

ROTTERDAM, 28 June 2024 – Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is set to undergo a significant renovation with a new design by Mecanoo architects, supported by Stichting Droom en Daad. The renewed museum is expected to open in 2029, offering enhanced visitor experiences.

Renovation of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen receives broad support

The College of Mayor and Aldermen of Rotterdam, along with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, has announced substantial support for the new renovation design by Francine Houben of Mecanoo architects. The ambitious plan, made feasible through a contribution from Stichting Droom en Daad, aims to modernise the museum building to meet contemporary standards for showcasing its renowned collection and exhibitions. Improvements include a clear layout, high-quality exhibition halls, enhanced accessibility, and a new main entrance in the heart of the renovated sections. The reopening is anticipated in 2029.

Funding and future knowledge centre

In addition to a donation of €80 million from Stichting Droom en Daad, the foundation will also contribute to the museum’s future knowledge centre. The College of Mayor and Aldermen is proposing the municipal council approve this ambitious plan.

The new design

The new design represents a fresh chapter in the museum’s history. It focuses on restoring the monumental sections designed by Van der Steur, Bodon, and Henket and adheres to the five principles set by the municipal council in 2021 for the renovation, which include:

  • A welcoming entrance
  • Improved logistics
  • Enhanced routing within the museum
  • Restoration of the Van der Steur, Bodon, and Henket sections
  • Connecting the museum with the city and Museum Park

The architectural concept by Mecanoo features a single, clear intervention at the museum’s core, linking all sections. A sunken plaza will mark the new entrance, granting access to Bodon and Van der Steur, both fully dedicated to exhibition space.

A sunken plaza will mark the new entrance, granting access to Bodon and Van der Steur, both fully dedicated to exhibition space.A sunken plaza will mark the new entrance, granting access to Bodon and Van der Steur, both fully dedicated to exhibition space.

The Robbrecht and Daem section will be demolished, allowing the national monuments Bodon and Van der Steur to be visible from the city. Removing Robbrecht and Daem will also create space for a back-of-house solution addressing logistical issues related to art, goods, food, and waste. The courtyard will be covered and used as a multifunctional area. On the park side, a new museum entrance near the Henket pavilion will connect the museum with the park, with the pavilion becoming a museum restaurant.

The design enjoys widespread support from the college, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Commission for Environmental Quality and Cultural Heritage, and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed). The plan includes thorough restoration and modernisation, with attention to fire safety, sustainability, and the preservation of monumental values.

Boijmans Van Beuningen's new design revealedBoijmans Van Beuningen's new design revealed


The renovation has faced challenges in recent years. The original design was financially unviable and did not meet permit requirements, leading to a pause in April 2023. This resulted in the renewed Ambitievariant design, influenced by the museum’s vision and advice from the Commission for Environmental Quality and Cultural Heritage and the Cultural Heritage Agency. The new design has been positively received by all parties involved.

Additional investment

The renovation requires an additional investment of over €100 million on top of the municipal council’s allocated budget of €223 million. This increase is largely offset by €89 million in external contributions. The college is requesting a one-time additional €23 million from the municipal council to cover incidental project costs. Further details will be developed in the coming months.


Following the summer recess, the municipal council will receive further updates on the business case. The schedule is as follows:

  • Council discussion of the proposal in September 2024
  • Preliminary design ready: Q1 2025
  • Final design ready: between Q3 2025 and Q1 2026
  • Final credit allocation and execution decision: Q1 2026

With these concrete steps and the support of both the municipal council and philanthropic contributions, the municipality and museum management are making a significant leap towards the future of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Boijmans Van Beuningen's new design revealedBoijmans Van Beuningen's new design revealed

Location details

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is located at Museumpark 18-20, 3015 CX Rotterdam. It is situated within the Museum Park area, a cultural hub in the city. The (currently closed) museum can be reached via public transport, with nearby tram and metro stops providing convenient access. For visitors driving to the museum, parking is available in the vicinity.

New addition to Museum Rotterdam's collection

New addition to Museum Rotterdam's collection

ROTTERDAM, 3 June 2024 – A notable addition has been made to the collection of post-war architecture art at Museum Rotterdam. The museum has acquired a design by Ian Pieters from 1958, depicting a mythological battle.

Museum Rotterdam expands its collection with historic artwork

Museum Rotterdam has expanded its collection of art focused on post-war architecture. The newest addition is a painted plaster plaque featuring a mythological scene: the hero Heracles battling the centaur Nessus. Ian Pieters created the design for a relief above the main entrance of the Marconiplein police station. Pieters, along with another Rotterdam artist, was commissioned to embellish the façade of this newly built police station in 1958.

Opening of Marconiplein Police Station (1958). Photo credit: Eric Koch, Anefo National ArchiveOpening of Marconiplein Police Station (1958). Photo credit: Eric Koch, Anefo National Archive

Marconiplein police station

In 1958, the Marconiplein police station in Rotterdam-West was opened as the first newly built police station after the war. Municipal architect Leo Voskuyl designed the L-shaped building, which features a slightly curved façade stretching 57 metres wide. Above the main entrance, a balcony is supported by two high columns, creating the effect of a canopy. Below this balcony, Pieters' artwork, which measures 3 metres high and 2 metres wide, is prominently displayed.

A battle between good and evil

Pieters’ artwork represents the struggle between good and evil through the fight of the legendary hero Heracles with the centaur Nessus. In Greek mythology, a centaur is a creature that is half-human and half-horse, often depicted as violent and drunken. The fight ensues when the centaur attempts to abduct Heracles' wife, Deianeira. Ultimately, good prevails, making it a fitting theme for a police station. Pieters chose a style reminiscent of ancient Greek pottery decoration, combined with the expressive lines of Picasso’s 'Guernica.'

Post-war art (1945-1970)

During the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam, the integration of art in architecture played a significant role. Architects and artists collaborated closely, adorning new buildings with murals, façade sculptures, stained-glass windows, mosaics, and reliefs. Renovations, neglect, and demolition threaten this closely interwoven art and architecture. However, awareness is growing that this typical Rotterdam streetscape deserves recognition and protection. Pieters’ design is a valuable addition to the museum’s expanding collection of post-war art.

The Marconiplein police station in 2024The Marconiplein police station in 2024

The artist

Ian Pieters (Rotterdam 1925 - Rhoon 2020) studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. Initially, he created bronze sculptures but later focused on environmental art using various materials. Four of his works are still present in Rotterdam. Pieters also designed commemorative medals. Museum Rotterdam possesses a medal from the placement of the sculpture 'The Destroyed City' by Ossip Zadkine in 1953 and one from the E55 exhibition. Pieters was awarded the Hendrik Chabot prize in 1981.

Ian Pieters. Photo credit: Ary Groeneveld (1968), City Archives RotterdamIan Pieters. Photo credit: Ary Groeneveld (1968), City Archives Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam currently operates one location open to the public: Museum Rotterdam '40-'45 NOW at the Coolhaven. This museum focuses on World War II and the bombing of May 1940. The museum also enhances its visibility in the city by lending out pieces from its collection, providing educational programmes, lectures, city walks, and presentations. Museum Rotterdam is working on developing a new city museum to preserve and bring Rotterdam’s heritage to life. Together with the municipality, a permanent location is being sought for the new museum.

Groot Handelsgebouw’s open call for artists

Groot Handelsgebouw’s open call for artists

ROTTERDAM, 9 April 2024An exciting opportunity has arisen at the Groot Handelsgebouw for local artists and creators to showcase their work in the heart of the city.

New initiative launched at groot handelsgebouw

An open call has been issued by the Groot Handelsgebouw, inviting local artists, creators, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, and storytellers to fill 20 empty display cases within its premises. Located in a bustling office environment hosting over 450 companies, this project aims to inject art into a vibrant part of Rotterdam.

A creative hub in rotterdam's heart

The Vitrine Project continues the Groot Handelsgebouw's tradition of fostering creativity, following the success of the Collision Project, which allowed both emerging and internationally recognized artists to transform blank walls with their creative vision. This initiative underscores the building's commitment to promoting collaboration, innovation, and community engagement through art.

Open call for artists

Artists interested in participating may apply through an online form. There are no restrictions on the medium—whether sculpture, mixed media, or painting. The display cases vary in size and are strategically located on the ground and seventh floors, areas with high foot traffic, enhancing visibility. Artists also have the opportunity to sell their works directly via QR codes on the display case glass, which provide more information about the artists and their contact details or shops. Applications will remain open until all cases are filled.

About Groot Handelsgebouw

The Groot Handelsgebouw (GHG), adjacent to Rotterdam Central Station, serves as a dynamic hub for over 450 businesses and is a symbol of Rotterdam’s post-war reconstruction. Built in 1953, GHG spans 120,000 square metres across eight floors, making it one of the largest multi-tenant business buildings in the Netherlands. Managed by Jamestown, a design-focused real estate investment and management firm, GHG aims to preserve its heritage while adapting for future growth.

How to get there

The Groot Handelsgebouw is centrally located next to Rotterdam Central Station, making it easily accessible by public transport. The area is known for its blend of multinational corporations, startups, creatives, and cultural organisations. Visitors can reach the location by train, bus, tram, or metro, providing convenient access to this vibrant part of the city.

AAAFRESH123 - fresh contemporary art by Rotterdam-based trio

AAAFRESH123 - fresh contemporary art by Rotterdam-based trio

AAAFRESH123 is an art collective based in Rotterdam. These three creative minds, who share the same ideas and a passion for art, collaborate wittingly and unwittingly in the creation of art that is fresh, thought-provoking and inspiring.
Artists Hans Kleinjan (1958), Maikel Kleinjan (1984) and Roderik Faasen (1990) get a lot of work done in their studio in Rotterdam's Oude Noorden neighbourhood. Under the moniker AAAFRESH123, the trio has produced art that can be seen on display all over the world. The Rot terdam-based trio has presented their work at exhibitions in Milan, Antwerp and Los Angeles.

The atelier

Almost all of the work is made together, which results in surprising and above all colourful paintings. The studio at Zaagmolenkade 123 in Rotterdam-Noord, an immense 700 square metre building, is full of paintings. Paint tins and easels with works in progress are everywhere.
AAAFRESH123 atelier in Rotterdam 150159AAAFRESH123 atelier in Rotterdam 150159
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The artists refer to their studio as the neighbourhood's livingroom. At any given time, friends might drop by and a DJ might start performing. It's the kind of place where there is always something going on. It is this hustle and bustle of activity that inspires the artists.
AAAFRESH123 atelier in Rotterdam 151021AAAFRESH123 atelier in Rotterdam 151021
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The art

The three artists met in 2008. Back then, they were all doing their own thing, including drawing, airbrushing, photography, poetry and graphic design. Their shared passion for artistic expression led to the creation of a collective whose work is almost always made up of three people. Working together on one canvas provides surprising and exciting moments. Paintings suddenly change direction, as a brushstroke comes from nowhere and upends one artist's concept. This is actually what makes the art quite interesting. The artists constantly come up with new insights and reinforce each other's talents.
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A visit to the studio can also be combined with a visit to GaleriAAA by Mangiare, an Italian restaurant next door. Indeed, some of the artwork is on display inside the restaurant. Every last Sunday of the month, they do a live painting session inside the restaurant.
Live painting is something they are particularly fond of. The trio has painted live on location at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the MTV Awards.


The reasoning behind the name AAAFRESH123 is actually simple. As Maikel Kleinjan explains it, 'fresh' was a word they used all the time and when making the move from Delfshaven to their new studio at Zaagmolenkade 123 they also saw it as a 'fresh' start. As for AAA, they thought it was a good fit, so that's how AAAFRESH123 was born.
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Location: AAAFRESH123


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