Museum Panorama Mesdag looks back with gratitude on a special anniversary year with almost 34,000 visitors and presents the 2022 program. Despite the challenges surrounding the pandemic and a closure of more than six months, the museum managed to continue to amaze and surprise the public with an adapted and meaningful program. This would not have been possible without the generous support of the State, the Municipality of The Hague, many funds, partners and private individuals.
Looking back on 2021
Museum Panorama Mesdag celebrated its 140th anniversary this year with a series of special exhibitions and two publications. The year was kicked off online with the anniversary exhibition De Schilders van het Panorama van Scheveningen, a publication of the same name and the first of the art project by the Hague artist Sara Vrugt: 100,000 trees and a forest of wire. A golden children’s book about the experiences of Aap & Mol in the museum was presented for the young generation in collaboration with publisher Rubinstein and writer Gitte Spee. From the reopening in the summer, the collection exhibition Mesdag & De Natuur followed, and in the autumn the exhibition Time & Tide, a series of spectacular panoramic photos by artist Siebe Swart. The long-awaited monumental publication Time and Tide wait for no man was also published, self-published by Swart. Both publications and exhibitions were praised by the press and, since the reopening, also by the public. Despite a year of restrictions, students could continue to admire Mesdag’s Panorama of Scheveningen. The museum welcomed 34,000 visitors this year, mainly from home, a 75 percent decrease compared to 2019.
Museum director Minke Schat: ‘We are extremely grateful for the generous support that the museum has received over the past year from the government, the municipality of The Hague, various funds, partners and private individuals. Thanks to this support, making sharp choices and switching innovatively with a resilient board and team, we got through the past year and a half. There is confidence in the future, but in this uncertain corona society, the worries are not over yet. We will continue to operate pragmatically and see what we can do within those possibilities.”
Museum Panorama Mesdag wants to amaze, connect and surprise and will do so in 2022 with a sparkling program. Past and present are connected in two new presentations.
3rd April – 25th September.
In honor of her hundredth anniversary, Museum Panorama Mesdag and the Noord-Veluws Museum present a complete picture of Suze Robertson (1855-1922) for the first time. In two complementary exhibitions about this special and unjustly forgotten artist, her drawings and paintings receive equal attention. 45 watercolors, chalk drawings and pastels and 10 paintings can be seen in The Hague, while the Noord-Veluws Museum simultaneously presents an overview of her paintings. Robertson was trained as a draftsman and thinking in black and white remained second nature throughout her life. A joint publication will accompany the exhibition.
In autumn and winter, the museum presents fascinating photo collages, panoramic landscapes folded into fans and drawn mountain views by the German artist Ulrike Heydenreich (1975). She plays a surprising game with dimensions with different materials, techniques and shapes. Heydenreich’s contemporary panorama view illustrates unique parallels but at the same time differences with Mesdag’s panorama in activating different senses. Optical illusion or tactility, both experiences surprise, amaze and question.
To be seen
The collection exhibition Mesdag & De Natuur and the photo exhibition Time & Tide by Siebe Swart can still be seen until 27th February 2022. While Mesdag’s work drew attention to the conservation of nature, Swart draws attention to the Dutch coast and rising sea levels.
Open Call panoramas
For the Time & Tide photo exhibition, the museum is organizing an open call with panoramic photography as the central theme. Photographers, amateur or professional, are called upon to create a black and white panoramic image of seascapes or other aquatic landscapes. The entries will be judged by a jury of experts, including artist Siebe Swart. The winning images will be exhibited in large format in the museum from the end of January. Participants can submit panoramic photos until January 23, 2022 via the link. Research collection Thanks to support from the Mondriaan Fund, the museum can conduct special research into the collection. In addition to the Panorama of Scheveningen, the museum also manages a collection of works on paper by Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten. It concerns 16 sketchbooks, including the booklet in which Mesdag made design drawings for his Panorama and more than 1,000 loose-leaf watercolors and pencil drawings. This collection is unique in the world, but has lived a hidden life in the museum depot in recent years. More information.
22nd December 2021