The Museum of Non-Essential Art (Het Museum Voor Niet-Essentiële Kunst) is donating a work of art to the city of Amsterdam, to underline the importance of art and culture. Mayor Femke Halsema was officially presented with the work on 25th May by Leon Caren and Bas Morsch, founders of the museum, and Lonneke van der Palen, the artist who created the work.
The Museum of Non-Essential Art opened its doors on 12th May 2021 in response to corona policy priorities, successfully sparking discussion about what is “essential” and what is not. Leon Caren: “Despite the fact that relaxation seems to be finally coming, the question remains why art is so low on the list of priorities. All art institutions are still closed, while we can go to non-essential stores in droves. In our view that is unjustifiable. We donate this work to the city of Amsterdam, to reinforce our belief that the arts should always be accessible. The work will be shown soon, somewhere in the public space of Amsterdam. We hope it will have a nice place in the open space of the town hall, accessible to all Amsterdammers. “
During the presentation, Mayor Halsema spoke about the importance of the arts: “In our city we are actually in constant conversation with the art sector in the broadest sense, including the nightlife and locations where young makers can go. That is of course very important for Amsterdam. This is the city’s DNA. In Amsterdam we will not be so quick to say that we can put on a DVD. ”
The Museum of Non-Essential Art will show a curated selection of artifacts from non-essential stores through 26th May, alongside artworks by leading artists who created works especially for the museum using materials from stores such as Action and Primark. In less than two weeks, the museum has attracted more than a thousand “art-missing” visitors.
The work that the mayor received comes from The Museum for Non-Essential Art and was made by Lonneke van der Palen, a talented Amsterdam photographer. Van der Palen took a photo of a silicone baking mat from the Action. “In our view, the work underlines the power of art; a simple baking mat is transformed into a very strong autonomous image ”, says Bas Morsch. “Artists give us a different perspective on reality. Music, visual arts, theater, literature … it gives us a new perspective on the everyday, an opportunity to look at the world in a different way. And that is not an afterthought; that especially in times like these – when reality has taken hold of us – is essential. ” The Museum of Non-Essential Art can be visited until Wednesday, 26th May at 18:00. All works are for sale, visitors can submit their offers in the museum until closing time. 25th May 2021