Het Dolhuys Museum
2021 GE Haarlem
In this historical building, you will get to peek inside the minds of artists, writers and scientists, sometimes with a disability or mental illness. You will meet people who function differently. Loners like Vincent van Gogh, who lived his life in a battle with himself and the rest of the world but who enriched us with his art. Other people that you will meet are the poet Gerrit Achterberg, the writer Myrthe van der Meer, the artists Anton Heijboer and Edvard Munch. You will also meet Willem van Genk, this country’s best known outsider artist. Was madness the source of his success? Be inspired by the surprising stories about their lives and be aware of the value of deviant behavior. Visit, meet and allow yourself to wonder about what is normal. Are you normal?
The Dolhuys is situated in a unique medieval building: the former lepers-, plague and madhouse. For years the building lay outside the city walls of Haarlem, sheltering the ‘insane’ and people with contagious diseases such as plague and leprosy. Go back in time and visit one of the very few remaining isolation chambers in Europe, dating from the 16th century. What does it feel like to be locked away in such a dark and confided space?
With its large terrace and lovely view, museum café Thuys is an ideal spot to have a delicious lunch or a refreshing drink.