Warehouse Rotterdam

Interbellum Rotterdam

Las Palmas, Rotterdam (NL)

The interwar period – the period between the two world wars – was a flourishing time for Rotterdam. Thanks to its technology and cultural life, Rotterdam was the most modern city in the Netherlands. The art and culture of the period was the subject of a collective presentation by all the Rotterdam museums. To show the pieces, kept in the different museum depots, and to give a picture of this exeptional period a temporary museum to keep, explain and show the collection was created. Pieces separated more than 60 years ago – such as furniture, clothing and a ship model of the Holland-America line – were reunited again for the exhibition. The commission determined not only the design but also the organization and content of the exhibition.

Rotterdam (NL)
Rotterdam Culturele Hoofdstad
1500 m2
Herman Kossmann, Mark de Jong, Martijn Sas, Roger Teunisse, Eefke Nuenen
No single story

It was an unused warehouse in the Rotterdam harbour that acted as a depository in which each piece of the collection was displayed in its own box, along with any necessary packing materials. It was as if the visitor discovered a depot dating back to the interwar period. Good climatic conditions were achieved by simple means. To rekindle the spirit of the interwar years and give context to the pieces in the collection, four monumental , translucent screens showing films simultaneously were placed in the exhibition. The compilations of original images clearly showed that there was no single story to tell about the period. Josephine Baker’s banana dance in Paris contrasted with the stomping boots of the German Nazis and the bustle of the Rotterdam harbours, all without any voice over.