New project: opening up an ancient castle

Kasteel Duivenvoorde

Next spring and summer we will be organizing several projects at Duivenvoorde Castle, a stately museum-mansion and unique parkland (see below) near the city of The Hague. We received a request from the organization to make a contribution to their yearlong celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2010.

After long deliberations and several site visits we came to the conclusion that although Duivenvoorde offers numerous cultural and natural attractions, it is barely known outside a small circle of insiders and remains largely unknown, hidden and inaccessible to most people. This observation was shared by the organization.

We have set ourselves the task of opening up the castle and its surroundings to a wider audience. Taking the vast and rare collection of family portraits as our starting point, as a kind of Facebook or social network avant la lettre, we will use the coming months to develop our plans in order to engage (online) visitors in new ways.

Right now we are still considering several options and will consult our partners and friends for new ideas, but here are some of our initial thoughts that are open for discussion, modification and new collaborations.

  1. Duivenvoorde Digital: an immersive, interactive (online) exploration of (parts of) Duivenvoorde
  2. Duivenvoorde after Dark: an evening and night full of artistic interventions and intellectual exchange
  3. D-award: juried art competition focussing on innovative (self-)portraits in all media, old and new

In addition to these three interconnected projects, we will guide and assist the organization during the preparations of an anniversary exhibition, a series of lectures and the overall (online) communication.

We will keep you updated as our plans take shape.

Duivenvoorde Portraits

About Duivenvoorde Estate
The Duivenvoorde Estate is situated between Voorschoten and Wassenaar in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. However, the estate remains one of the few unspoiled parklands in the heart of vast urban conglomeration that stretches from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. A tree-lined driveway brings you from the main road to the manor.

The castle was first mentioned in 1226, making it one of the older castles in Holland. It is remarkable in that it was never sold; it was inherited by several different noble houses, sometimes through the matrilineal line, starting with the Van Duivenvoordes, who gave their name – at that time, Van Duvenvoirde – to the castle.

The current building dates back to the 17th (and some parts 18th) century. Duivenvoorde boasts a unique collection of family portraits, silverware, Delft earthenware and Chinese and European porcelain.

Since the 1960′s, the castle and park have been in the care of a trust and are partly open to the public. The south wing however is still inhabited; Ludolphine Emilie van Haersma Buma, Baroness Schimmelpenninck van der Oye has lived there since 2003. Her brother still lives in the castle’s garden house.

Duivenvoorde Google Maps