Home » Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch) for art lovers – Noordbrabants Museum and Design Museum
Den Bosch for art lovers, museums in Den Bosch, Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch

Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch) for art lovers – Noordbrabants Museum and Design Museum

by Daniela

Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch) is not only a destination for history geeks but also a place where art lovers can find some exciting and interesting exhibitions. Well, Den Bosch is not Amsterdam or Den Haag and it doesn’t boast museums like the Rijksmuseum or Mauritshuis, but nonetheless it has two museums where you can see fascinating collections and learn more about the history and art of the Dutch Province North-Brabant. A visit to Den Bosch (’s-Hertogenbosch) cannot simply go without a visit to the two local museums: Noordbrabants Museum and Design Museum Den Bosch (former Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch).

Read more: To find out what else you can do and see in Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch), read my complete city guide for this beautiful place in the Netherlands.

I visited both museums during a preview organized by Instadenbosch. I had the opportunity to see 2 of the museums’ newest exhibitions before they were open to the public and then I could explore the permanent collections of the museums free of charge.

This post has been last updated on 1 June 2018 to reflect the name change of Stedelijk Museum into Design Museum. Next update is planned at the end of June to cover the change of exhibitions.

 

Noordbrabants Museum

History of the building

Noordbrabants Museum is housed in what once was a Jesuit Monastery. The first monastery was built in the early 14th century. In 1615 the Jesuits took the monastery and turned it into a college. In 1629 the building was appropriated by the State and became governor’s home. Between 1767 and 1770 the Governor’s Palace was completely renovated and received its classical façade in Louis XVI-style. The interior of the palace, however, has elements of the Rococo style. In 1984 after a short renovation the building was converted into a museum and it became the home of the Noordbrabants Museum. In 2013 the museum underwent renovation and it was connected to the newly built Stedelijk Museum at this time, which today is called Design Museum Den Bosch. The two museums form today the so-called Museum Quarter in Den Bosch – a hub for art lovers and a must-see for all tourists who visit Den Bosch.


Plan your visit

Noordbrabants Museum is conveniently located in the city centre, at just a few minutes walk from the Sint-Jan (St. John’s Cathedral). If you are visiting Den Bosch by train or by bus, it will take you less than 15 minutes to walk from the Central Train/Bus Station. If you are coming by car, the best is to use the St. Jan’s Parking Garage. There’s another parking (Wolvenhoek) that’s closer to the museum, but as it’s relatively small, it can get full quite quickly.

Read more: How to get to Den Bosch by car or by public transportation.

Parking

  • Wolvenhoek Parking – Wolvenhoek 12, 5211 HH ’s-Hertogenbosch
  • St. Jan Parking – Hekellaan 25, 5211 LZ ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Address

Verwersstraat 41, ’s-Hertogenbosch

Opening hours

  • 11:00 – 17:00 (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Closed on Mondays, 27 April, 25 December and 1 January.

However, the museum is open on the following Mondays in 2018: 2 April, 21 May and 26 December.

Admission fees

Adult tickets cost 12 EUR and children under age of 18 years can visit the museum for free. Students (up to 30 years of age) get 50% reduction and pay only 6 EUR. You can also buy a combination ticket for the two museums in Den Bosch and it will cost you only 15 EUR.

Accessibility

The Museum is accessible also for people with reduced mobility.

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Collections and exhibitions

Noordbrabants Museum is THE place to learn about Brabant’s history, art and culture: from the Romans that lived on the territory of today’s North-Brabant, to the famous medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch, to Van Gogh, and up to contemporary art and design.

The Romans in Brabant

The Romans came in Brabant somewhere in the 1st century BC and stayed until the 3rd – 4th century AD. In the collection about the Romans there are exhibited a lot of objects and artifacts from the archaeological sites in North-Brabant. It is quite interesting to learn how people lived those days by looking at the objects they’ve used in their everyday life.

Collection of paintings (1500 – 1800)

Notable is the collection of paintings by the Bruegel family and their successors. There’s also a lovely collection of flower still lives where you can see the famous tulips that led to the Dutch Tulip Mania in the 17th century. Well, those tulips do not exist today anymore as they were actually sick with the tulip breaking virus.

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Story of Brabant

The Story of Brabant is an exhibition about Brabant’s pride: you can find here everything that made this Dutch province famous: from the DAF 600 (the first passenger car of the famous Dutch automotive company) to paintings by the greatest medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch, who was born in Den Bosch. A significant part of this exhibition is dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh who was born in Zundert (a small village in the southern part of North-Brabant) and started his career as a painter in rural Brabant. In the Story of Brabant there are exhibited 9 paintings from the Dutch period of the artist.

Tip: All works of Hieronymus Bosch in full size reproductions can be seen in the Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre.

You can spot there also the painting from the 16th century that served as a model for the well and the statue that were placed in the middle of the Market Square in 2015.

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The Story of Brabant is an interactive exhibition which uncovers Brabant’s history in a fun and entertaining way.

A Chinese Journey: the Sigg Collection

A Chinese Journey is a must-see for all modern art lovers visiting the Netherlands! It gives an impression of the contemporary Chinese art and is the largest exhibition of its kind in the country. Visiting Den Bosch for a day only to see this exhibition is absolutely worth it. The exhibition is surprisingly fresh and impressively educating. It gives an idea of where contemporary art in China stands nowadays.

The exhibition comprises of works from the famous Sigg Collection. Uli Sigg was Swiss ambassador in China in the period 1995 -1998 and has one of the world’s biggest collection of contemporary Chinese art. The exhibition takes you on a journey where you can see traditional art forms re-worked in a modern way, installations and paintings with a spiritual and philosophical touch that will make you re-think human existence, works that tackle important political and social issues and will leave you speechless.

While people may see me as a collector who put together the most significant collection of Chinese contemporary art in the world, I prefer to view myself a researcher of China and of Chinese contemporary art who just happened to buy some of the results of his research, [says Uli Sigg in front of CNN].

A Chinese Journey is one of the temporary exhibitions in Noordbrabants Museum and it will be on display from 17 March till 8 July 2018.

Curious about contemporary Chinese Art? Do not miss the Sigg Collection at Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch!Click To Tweet

 

Design Museum Den Bosch

History

Design Museum Den Bosch started in the 1950’s as a showcase for the students of the Royal Art Academy of Art and Design in Den Bosch and established itself as a municipal exhibition centre in 1972. It changed many places until it found its home in the brand new building especially designed to house the museum and its collections. In 2013 the museum moved to its new home adjacent to Noordbrabants Museum.

Fun fact: Until 1 June 2018 the museum was known as Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Plan your visit

How to reach the museum

You can reach the museum via Noordbrants Museum as the two museums are interconnected. The museum has its own entrance at the De Mortel 4, 5211 HV ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Scroll up for more info on parking and public transport.

Opening hours

  • 11:00 – 17:00 (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Closed on Mondays, 27 April, 25 December and 1 January.

However, the museum is open on the following Mondays in 2018: 2 April, 21 May and 26 December

Admission fees

Adult tickets cost 7 EUR and children under age of 18 years can visit the museum for free. Students (up to 30 years of age) get 50% reduction and pay only 3,50 EUR. I would advise you to buy a combination ticket for the two museums as it costs you only 15 EUR.

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Collection and exhibitions

The Museum has one of the biggest international collections of modern ceramics and jewelry which are exhibited under different themes in one of the museum halls.


American Dream

One of the two current exhibitions in the museum showcases contemporary American ceramics from its own collection. I am personally not quite interested in ceramics as an object of art, but I found some of the objects quite provoking. You can actually see what’s possible in the sphere of applied arts and ceramics.

This exhibition is on until 3 June 2018.

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California: Designing Freedom

What do the first iPhone and skateboarding have in common? That’s right – they both were born in California! The newest exhibition in the Design Museum shows more that 200 objects that have one thing in common – they were all designed in California in the 2nd half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. High-tech gadgets from the 70s, or the original eight-colour rainbow flag used at the San Francisco Gay Parade in 1978, the first UI design of Xerox, or Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm and Like button – everything revolves around one word ‘freedom’. Freedom in what you see, in where you go, in what you want, in what you say, in what you do and in whom you join.

It is a quite interesting exhibition where you can see as museum objects things we know from our everyday life. The design from the Silicon Valley is displayed in an entertaining way and you can also learn quite a lot about things that we take for granted, like a pair of Vans or Google Maps.

Visiting Den Bosch? Take a look at the provoking exhibition California: Designing Freedom at the Design Museum Den Bosch.Click To Tweet

California: Designing Freedom is on at the Design Museum Den Bosch (former Stedelijk Museum) from 17 March till 17 June 2018. It is a travelling exhibition produced by the Design Museum in London (UK). (Note to self: Next time I am in London I have to make sure I visit this museum!)

Tip: To see all collections in both museums, you need to plan a whole day.
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You won’t be disappointed if you visit these two museums in Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch). Have you already seen the two new exhibitions? Tell us what you think about them below in the comments. Do you have other recommendations for Den Bosch, let us know what you’ve or not liked about this historical Dutch city.
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