Kossmann.dejong wins International Award in Museums + Heritage Awards

Kossmann.dejong has won The International Award in the ‘Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence’ in London for the presentation The Canon of Dutch History in the Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem. The Museums + Heritage Awards are seen as the Oscars of the museum world.



The Canon of Dutch History, a frame with 50 themed windows providing a summary of Dutch history, is a spectacular presentation of the history of the Netherlands ‘from prehistoric megalith to the present day’. By combining physical, interactive and audiovisual media with unique collection presentations in a theatrical manner, a stimulating and fascinating visual story has been created.

Impressive collaboration

The stories of ordinary people are the main focus within a spatial collage, for which Kossmann.dejong was responsible for the spatial and graphic design, and the visitor is able to experience the past in a vivid way.

‘The innovation can be found in the interaction between the various components. That makes this exhibition into an intense visitor experience,’ says Robert van der Linde, project leader at Kossmann.dejong. Audiovisual projection, collection in display cases, texts, interactive elements, and pieces of scenery, together tell and depict historical stories. By seeing all elements in the presentation as a means of communication, layered images of the past are created with numerous parallel perspectives on the subject. The imagination and empathy of the visitor are given free rein. You find yourself continuously reflecting on how something would have been in the past.’

The jury praised the presentation for ‘the impressive collaboration of different partners manifesting itself in a truly dynamic way,’ and called The Canon of Dutch History ‘a brilliant example of interpretation’.

The Museums + Heritage Awards Show is the largest trade event for professionals in the fields of museums, heritage management and cultural attractions. The awards are awarded to pioneers in the heritage sector, as well as recognising expertise and innovation within museums, galleries and attractions in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

The exhibition came about in collaboration with film and animation designer Redrum and interactive designer IJsfontein under the direction of art director Pieter van der Heijden from XPEX.