The history of Museum Rotterdam started in the City Hall of Rotterdam. For centuries-old objects that were important to the city were kept in the archives of the City Hall. In 1904 these objects were displayed in the then founded Museum of Antiquities. In 1953 the name was changed to Historical Museum of the City of Rotterdam. Both museums were located in the Schielandshuis on the Korte Hoogstraat. On 1 January 2011, the name was changed to Museum Rotterdam.
From 2012 to 2016 the Museum Rotterdam ‘wandered’ through the city with exhibitions in various buildings. And in 2015 the War Resistance Museum was merged with Museum Rotterdam. In 2016 the museum will move to a permanent location, the Timmerhuis. The museum about the Second World War will be housed in a building at the Coolhaven and from then on it will be called Museum Rotterdam ’40 – ’50 NOW.
The city’s museum now has a collection of more than hundreds of thousands of objects. Each object in the collection tells a Rotterdam story. That could be a jar of mustard from the firm Breder from Rotterdam, a jug of juniper from Hulstkamp & Son Rotterdam, a silver tea bus from the Rotterdam silversmith Gerardus Vinck to a painting by the Rotterdam painter Nicolaes Muys 1740-1808.
A unique part of Museum Rotterdam is that people, organisations or objects of ordinary Rotterdam residents are added to Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed (Real Rotterdam Heritage). The first object was a bus of Bulgarian migrant workers who regularly drove it back to their families in Bulgaria. This bus has been adopted and will continue to run, and the stories will be preserved. Mister Pang is Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed, because of his help to young Chinese in the city, not with money, but with support and even food if necessary. That Jules Deelder is also Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed needs no explanation.
Exhibitions in Museum Rotterdam
The different exhibitions in the museum can be about stories or people from a Rotterdam neighbourhood. Fun children’s stories are told about the growth of Rotterdam into a metropolis during another exhibition. Another unique initiative is the Museum Rotterdam Citytrip. This way the museum of the city stays original and connected to the people of Rotterdam. Of course, if you’re not a Rotterdamer, you are also very welcome in Museum Rotterdam.