ART: "ART IS THERAPY", RIJKSMUSEUM AMSTERDAM

IMAGES: AMANDA KHO | WORDS: DAVID ERICSSON

On a short visit to Amsterdam earlier this summer we took the chance to visit the Exhibition Art Is Therapy by Alain de Botton & John Armstrong at the newly reopened Rijksmuseum. Alain de Botton, as usual, has the quite useful ability to knock sense into the most stubborn of minds. Instead of emphasising the paintings historical values De Botton and Armstrong help us focus on the therapeutic effect that art can have and the big questions in life that art can answer. In the exhibition visitors get to share insights in the format of large post-it notes on 150 artworks on display in the Rijksmuseum galleries, from the Middle Ages right through to the 20th century, including the Asian Pavilion, but also on objects in the shop, café, cloakroom and entrance. The text boards have been designed by Irma Boom and added to the museum’s original ones. De Botton and Armstrong believe that these new captions shed an entirely new light on the Rijksmuseum collection. This exhibition will be the first time that the philosophers put their theories from their latest book Art as Therapy into practice.

The exhibition is open until 7 September and if you get the chance to visit you won’t be disappointed.


18 September, 2014
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