The Dutch central government developed a generous though somewhat uncoordinated system of museum subsidisation in the twentieth century and the network of national museums was very much expanded during this time thanks to the initiative and generosity of private collectors (Rovers; 2009). Indeed; a strong tradition of private patronage has helped the national museums develop since the beginning of the nineteenth century and one might mention Teylers Museum or Tropenmuseum but it is also the case of certain art collections (Krul; 2009).
The number of museums currently under the administration of a central government agency is about 50 in total (Ministry of Education; Culture and Science; 2006: 75). Of these; 30 are related to the Ministry of Education; Culture and Science; 11 to the Ministry of Defence and others; such as the Ministry of Finance; run the Dutch coin museum in Utrecht or the Tax Museum in Rotterdam for example; whilst the Ministry for Foreign Affairs finances the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam (cf. Table).
A plan for the modernisation of collection management of Dutch museums called the Deltaplan (1992) has been implemented since 1988 to achieve greater efficiency in terms of museum and collection management; initiating major renovation and inventory schemes. In parallel; a plan was implemented to completely reorganise state museum financing in a way that has led to increasing financial autonomy and also independence of management generally. Since 2005 however; the state has gone back to a more general system of subsidisation that allows for any museum (be they attached to a central government ministry or not) to apply for state funding.
Out of the thirty nationally-owned state museums; our choice of the most important museums in the Netherlands was made to reflect the geographical spread of these institutions and the principal values that they tend to project. Indeed; as shown by our short study of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague (two of the most frequently visited Dutch museums); Dutch national culture seems to be predominantly represented by the paintings of the Golden Age. The rising sense of nationalism related to the First World War is considered with the case of the Open Air Museum of Arnhem; all the more interesting as it has tried to modernise its foundational concept; moving from a nostalgic vision of country life; to a museology that also uses recent developments in habitat as a means to address social and political issues more pertinent and relevant to contemporary Dutch society. Generally speaking; one finds few museums dealing with issues of religious conflicts – although this might be expected given Dutch history. Dutch relations to its very important colonial past; which formed the basis for the country’s wealth and economic growth up until the decolonization that followed the Second World War; will be considered in a parallel study of the two principal ethnology museums in the Netherlands. The most recent creation in terms of national museums; the Zuiderzee Museum deals with more politically neutral but important environmental issues. Not all museums of importance for national identity can be dealt with in the context of this report; such as the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; one of the most frequented museums in Holland. In the category of small museums; which however do seem to relate to essential aspects of Dutch history; one should mention: Anne Frank House and the Dutch Resistance Museum (see Annex table).
Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1
Ballé; C. and Poulot; D. (2004) ‘Les Pays-Bas’; Musées en Europe. Une mutation inachevée; Paris: La documentation française.
Bank; J. and Buuren; M. van (2004) 1900; The Age of Bourgeois Culture; Volume 3 of Dutch Culture in a European Perspective; D. Fokkema and F. Grijzenhout (eds); Assen: Royal Van Gorcum.
Bergvelt; E. (2010) Free access to the past: romanticism; cultural heritage and the nation; L. Jensen; J. T. Leerssen; and M. Mathijsen (eds) BRILL.
—— (1998) Pantheon der Gouden Eeuw. Van Nationale Konst-Gallerij tot Rijksmuseum van Schilderijen (1798-1896); Amsterdam: Zwolle.
Bley; B. (2004) Vom Staat zur Nation. Sur Rolle der Kunst bei der Herausbildung eines neiderländischen Nationalbewusstseins im langen 19. Jahrhundert; Münster: LIT Verlag.
Blotkamp; C. (2004) ‘Visual arts: the doom of the Golden Age’; Accounting for the Past: 1650-2000; in volume 5 of Dutch Culture in a European Perspective; D. Fokkema and F. Grijzenhout (eds) Assen: Royal Van Gorcum; 273-295.
Boorsma; P. B. and Hemel A. van (eds) (1998) Privatization and Culture. Experiences in the Arts; Heritage and Cultural Industries in Europe; London: Kulwer Academic publishers.
D’Angelo; M. and Vespérini; P. Council of Europe (2000) Cultural policies in Europe; Strasbourg; Ed. of the Council of Europe.
DutchNews.nl (2010) ‘National history museum scrapped as culture cuts begin to bite’. Online; available HTTP: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/10/national_history_museum_scrap p.php; (accessed 5 November 2010).
Effert; R. (2008) Royal cabinets and auxiliary branches: origins of the National Museum of Ethnology; 1816-1883; CNWS Publications: Leiden.
Engelsman; S. (1996) ‘La privatisation des musées aux Pays-Bas: le bilan; douze ans plus tard’; Museum International; 48: 37-43.
Ganzeboom; H. and Haanstra; F. (1989) Museum and Public; Rijswijk: Ministry of Welfare; Health and Culture.
Halbertsma; R. B. (2003) Scholars; Travellers and Trade. The Pioneer years of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden; 1818-40; London & New York: Routledge.
Ham; G. van der (2000) 200 jaar Rijksmuseum. Geschiedenis van een nationaal symbool; Amsterdam: Zwolle.
Hoetink H. R. (1977) ‘Introduction’; The Royal Cabinet of Paintings. Illustrated General Catalogue; The Hague: Government Publishing Office: 1-24.
Jong; A. D. (2001) Die Dirigenten Van de herinnering. Musealiserung en nationalisering van de volkscultuur in Nederland 1815-1940; Nijmigen: Nederlands Openluchtmuseum.
—— (1996) ‘The Ethnological Museum and the Balance Between National Identity and Cosmopolitism’; in Proceedings of the first European meeting of ethnography and social history museums 1993; Paris: École du Louvre: 96-100.
Jong; A. D. and Skougaard; M. (1992) ‘Les premiers musées de plein air. La tradition des musées consacrés aux traditions populaires’; Museum International; 175: 151-157.
Krul; W. (2009) ‘Collecting for posterity. Two Dutch art collectors in the nineteenth century and their bequests to the nation’; Journal of the History of Collections; 21: 163- 171.
Legêne; S. (2000) ‘Identité nationale et ‘cultures autres’: le Musée colonial comme monde à part aux Pays-Bas’; Du musée colonial au musée des cultures du monde; Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose; 87-102.
McTavish; L. (2006) ‘Visiting the Virtual Museum’; in J. Marstine (ed.) New museum theory and practice: an introduction; Wiley-Blackwell.
Meijers Debora (2009) ‘The Dutch Method of Developing a National Art Museum: How crucial were the French confiscations of 1795’; Napoleon’s Legacy. The Rise of National Museums in Europe 1794-1830; in E. Bergvelt (ed.); Berlin: G & H Verlag; 41-53.
Mensch; P. van (ed.) (1989a) Professionalizing the muses; Amsterdam: Reinwardt Academie.
—— (1989b) ‘Les musées aux Pays-Bas: “Abondance de biens nuit”’; Museum International; 162: 120-123.
Ministry of Education; Culture and Science; The Hague and Boekmanstudies; Amsterdam (2006) Cultural Policy in the Netherlands; pdf version available online; HTTP: english.minocw.nl/documenten/boekman_cult3.pdf (accessed 15 March 2010).
—— (1997) Museums in the Netherlands. Facts and figures; The Hague: Ministry of Education; Culture and Science.
—— (1994) Autonomy for the National Museums and Museum Services in the Netherlands; Rijswijk: Ministry of Education; Culture and Science.
—— (1968) De Nederlandse museums/Museums in the Netherlands; The Hague: Recreatie en Mattschappelijk Werk.
—— (1962) Guide to the national museum of ethnology; Leiden: Ministry of Education; Culture and Science.
Nederlands Openluchtsmuseum (1990) Guide Netherlands Open-Air Museum Arnhem; Enschede.
Ploeg; P. van der (2006) Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis: a princely collection; The Hague: Zwolle.
Rovers; E. (2009) ‘Monument to an industrialist’s wife. Helene Kröller-Müller’s motives for collecting’; Journal of the History of Collections; 21: 241-252.
Schuster; M.-J. (1998) ‘Beyond Privatization. The Hybridization of Museums and the Built Heritage’; Privatization and Culture. Experiences in the Arts; Heritage and Cultural Industries in Europe; P. B. Boorsma (ed.); London: Kulwer Academic publishers.
Steinhoff; A.-J. (2006) ‘Protestantism’; A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Europe (1789- 1914) S. Berger (ed.); Blackwell; 248-262.
Wang; Y.; Aroyo; L.; Stash; N. and Rutledge; L. (2007) Interactive User Modeling for Personalized Access to Museum Collections: The Rijksmuseum Case Study; pdf version available online; HTTP: http://www.springerlink.com/content/8080262763550700/ (accessed 1 November 2010).
Woudsma; J. (2004) An Amsterdam Landmark. The Royal Tropical Insitute; Amsterdam: Kit Publishers.
Openluchtmuseum; Arnhem: http://www.openluchtmuseum.nl/en/
Riksmuseum Amsterdam: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/?lang=en