What’s happening in The Rembrandt House Museum? Here you will find more information about our 2020-2021 exhibition program.

Life/Time: Rembrandt, Abraham van Dijck and Aat Veldhoen

25 September – 29 November 2020

In times of corona, in which people have to keep distance from the elderly, we have to rely more on contact through our gaze. Rembrandt was a keen and sympathetic observer – his renderings of old people are intimate, vulnerable, and at the same time powerful. They include old people dozing off in a chair. But we also see wise old men in their study chambers, or a spry old pancake baker. Life/Time shows works of art from the museum’s collection, such as etchings by Rembrandt, paintings by his pupil Abraham van Dijck and prints by the modern artist and Rembrandt fan Aat Veldhoen.
The high point of this collection exhibition is the latest acquisition of The Rembrandt House Museum: a small painting by Rembrandt pupil Abraham van Dijck. The museum purchased it last year at an auction. It is a depiction of an old man on the edge of falling asleep. Old people often served in seventeenth-century Dutch art as symbol for the transience of life. But this man is a painter, he holds a palette and brushes in his hand. The message here could be: life will end, but the painting will remain. Or otherwise: art triumphs over death.

Life/Time was made possible through the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt and the Turing Foundation with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of the permanent collection.


Rembrandt Open Studio: Iriée Zamblé & Timothy Voges

25 September – 29 November 2020

Rembrandt’s house was a creative hub. Rembrandt did not namely work here alone: many pupils also made art here, sometimes even four or five at a time. Now, nearly 400 years later, we are bringing this back. A new generation of young artists will have the opportunity to name new work, with a contemporary viewpoint on the art of Rembrandt’s time and the world of today. This fall Iriée Zamblé and Timothy Voges will set up their studios in the gallery. They will reflect on the themes of the exhibition Life/Time: old age, transience, strength and vulnerability. Zamblé and Voges will at the same time be staying in the exhibition gallery and alternatively working and/or showing existing work – sometimes alone, sometimes together.

Iriée Zamblé (Amsterdam, 1995) makes painted tronies and portraits of black people. Her work is about representation, identity and presence. Of essence is that black people enjoy the space to be themselves and be busy with the stuff of everyday life. She draws inspiration from the people she encounters, often on the street. The paintings of Timothy Voges (Willemstad, 1993) are cut out of found images from the media or older sources, where the context is missing. This leaves much open to interpretation. Potentially very random scenes sometimes appear eerie, vulnerable, voyeuristic or simply nostalgic. This depends on the viewer themselves.


Hello Rembrandt!

Including the series “Hat on for Rembrandt”

19 December 2020 – 11 April 2021

Hello Rembrandt! is an interactive exhibition for young explorers from 7 to 12 years old. Get to know Rembrandt’s masterpieces by looking and doing. Try out Rembrandt’s lighting, see how many layers a painting is built up, or dive into a pigment cabinet with all the pigments that Rembrandt used to make his paint. Did you know for example that painters used to use lead white, which we now know to be very poisonous? Through various interactive components and digital screens and a photo booth with Rembrandtesque lighting you can learn more about how Rembrandt went to work. From the very start the visit feels like an adventure.

Hat on for Rembrandt! Accompanying Hello Rembrandt!, this display pairs contemporary photographic portraits of children with etchings by Rembrandt. In these art works the most beautiful, crazy and most extravagant head coverings appear. This series of photos was the product of the multi-year art project Hat on for Rembrandt by Stichting Kunsteducatie De Rode Loper op School (The Red Carpet at School Art Foundation). Elementary school children designed a hat and had their portraits taken, in the spirit of Rembrandt, by photographer Marije van der Hoeven. The results are playful, moving, and surprising. The proud young creators reflect on who they may have been in the past.

Hello Rembrandt! was initiated and developed by the Mauritshuis, The Hague and was presented there in the summer of 2019.


Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant

1 May – 25 July 2021

Hansken was the most famous elephant in the seventeenth century. The only elephant in Europe at that time, she travelled to markets, fairs and courts. When Hansken visited Amsterdam for the last time in 1647 she was able to perform 36 tricks. A remarkable spectacle, also for artists. Rembrandt saw her and drew her a number of times—a perfect excuse for The Rembrandt House Museum to bring Hansken’s story to life again in this exhibition for young and old.

Hansken’s story is amazing, but at the same time moving. She had to endure a great deal during her life; she was forced to make long journeys and perform very frequently. This exhibition will also consider animal welfare and suffering from a contemporary perspective. Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant features drawings and etchings by Rembrandt and his contemporaries, paintings and a digital map on which you can trace Hansken’s route through Europe. Astonishingly, Hansken’s skull has been preserved and will be brought in from Italy especially for this exhibition.

The exhibition is based on a concept developed by Michiel Roscam Abbing (author of Rembrandt’s Elephant) and Anneke Groen (collection manager of ARTIS). 


Co-creation Rembrandthuis [working title]

14 August 2021 – 28 November 2021

In the Fall of 2021 The Rembrandt House Museum will join forces with people from outside the museum in order to view the museum from a fresh perspective. Which topics play an important role at the moment in our changing world? How were these seen by Rembrandt, his pupils and contemporaries? More information about this exhibition will follow in 2021.



The Aversion to Idealisation

18 December 2021 – 10 April 2022

Showing things as they are, without idealising – this is the core of Rembrandt’s work, but also of many contemporary artists. They look at their surroundings, people and the human body with the same unfiltered vision.  The group exhibition Raw. The Aversion to Idealisation features the work of a number of contemporary artists – well-known names alongside emerging talents. Although their work goes in various directions, they have something significant in common:  they are tackling the same themes, problems and experiments – but almost four centuries later. Raw. The Aversion to Idealisation is the first in a new series of exhibitions of contemporary art in The Rembrandt House Museum.