On display until — 18 August 2019

Modern Nederland 1963 – 1989

From the 1960s on, the Netherlands aspired to modernity. This desire was characterised by a shared love of geometric design and the use of white, black and grey. The exhibition consists of various important moments and situations from the period and will provide a scenographic overview of its architecture, product and graphic design, fashion and art.


Although this Dutch modernism of the period 1963-1989 was part of an international movement, it had a conspicuous, distinctive, societal ambition of its own, with characteristic design featuring abstraction and geometric shapes. State-owned companies such as the PTT [the postal service], the railways and the tax authorities expressed a common concept that was anti-traditional, tolerant and democratic. During the course of the 1990s, modernism acquired negative connotations due to its one-dimensional moralising and amorphous consequences (infamously dogmatic, static or ‘didactic’ modernism). Thirty years on, almost all of this Dutch modernism has been torn down, cleaned up, forgotten or stored in depots. However, the time now seems ripe for a critical re-appraisal, particularly in the light of today’s world famous yet socially sterile Dutch Design. Modern Nederland 1963 – 1989 [The Modern Netherlands 1963-1989] will provide a major overview of design, architecture and art in the form of prototypes, models and objects from designers and artists including Bob Bonies, Ad Dekkers, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Aldo van den Nieuwelaar, Wim Quist, Andre Volten and Carel Weeber.