Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten extends celebration of its 150th anniversary and moves Open Studios to April 2021

26 May 2020

Extension celebration 150th anniversary
Today, exactly 150 years ago, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten was established by law by King William III. Earlier this year, the Rijksakademie launched the anniversary programme 'Activating Pasts, Practising Futures', filled with talks, presentations and renewed collaborations. Not only to share the rich history of the Rijksakademie, but also to look ahead at the artistic practice of today and tomorrow.

Despite the limitations and challenges posed by the Covid-19 virus, the Rijksakademie goes ahead with its planned festivities. The programme will be extended in a modified form until 26 May 2021 and includes, among other things, the publication in July of the Amsterdam city map 'Rijksakademie on the map, 150 years [art works] in Amsterdam'. The map contains 450 works in the public space by artists who were associated with the Rijksakademie. In the autumn, an exhibition will be held in the Amsterdam Museum highlighting 150 years of Rijksakademie.

The Rijksakademie has faced a lot of challenges, survived two world wars and periods of severe budget cuts over the past 150 years. Yet it always fulfilled its main objective of enabling artists from the Netherlands and far beyond to develop both their work and their ideas. With this in mind, it was decided to extend the residency period for the current residents – as they were temporarily unable to use all the facilities because of the Corona outbreak – and to revise the annual planning. A decision that has affected the new dates for the Open Studios.

Open Studios moved to April 2021
The current residency period is extended until May 2021. The selection process for new artists has been postponed until the fall of 2020 and the next group of artists will start in the summer of 2021.

As a result of these changes, the upcoming Rijksakademie Open Studios will take place in April 2021. The shift of the residency year and the new dates for the Open Studios in the spring are permanent. By having the Open Studios in the spring, the participating artists can make even better use of the entire building, including the courtyard and the garden, for their presentations and performances. Moreover, the arrival of a new group of artists from all over the world is more appropriate and pleasant in the summer than in the dark winter months. The Rijksakademie is delighted that its important partner Amsterdam Art is supporting the decision and has subsequently moved the Art Weekend to 15-18 April 2021.

"More than ever we see the importance of art organisations working together to sustain a rich cultural ecosystem in the Netherlands and beyond. We are therefore extremely happy to continue our collaboration with Amsterdam Art Weekend. With spring as a natural time of renewal, we will, through this annual celebration of culture in the city, bring new energy and stimulate new perspectives in what we hope will be a better climate!” Emily Pethick, director of the Rijksakademie.

Caroline van den Tempel, director of Amsterdam Art: "The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten has been an indispensable partner since the establishment of Amsterdam Art Weekend. The Open Studios is an annual highlight on Amsterdam's cultural agenda and a benchmark for the Dutch contemporary art scene. It is in this respect a logical choice to have the Amsterdam Art Weekend (15-18 April 2021) coincide with it.

‘Activating Pasts, Practising Futures’ is generously supported by our main partner Ammodo, with additional support from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting and the Creative Europe Programme - European Commission.