A visit to an historic museum offers visitors insight into the social, cultural political and aesthetic values of times gone by. Yet, and regardless of their age, truly great works of art continue to educate, resonate and thrill for centuries to come.
Timelessness plays a key role in Marcel Wanders’ new book publication:
Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age
Closed for many years for redevelopment, the 2013 reopening of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and especially of the Gallery of Honour is both cause for celebration, and an opportunity for a fresh interpretation of the works in the collection. There is no greater institution to connect with art, yet it remains essential to understand the contemporary relevance of these historical works.
With Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age, Marcel Wanders seeks to explore the timelessness of 64 artworks and to expose their contemporary significance so that they may resonate with an ever greater audience. To do so, he asks such questions as: how do we best share the values and the importance of the collection? How do we best view it? How do the greatest masterpieces influence how we see the world today?
The Rijksmuseum is the subject matter of many books, yet none of these pay direct homage to the 17th century Dutch paintings in the Gallery of Honour. No work in print does justice to either the aesthetic magnificence of the works, nor connects these works to contemporary culture. In collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Marcel Wanders seeks to present the works in the Gallery of Honour in spectacular fashion, offering readers an opportunity to learn from and connect with the past.
To view the works from the Gallery of Honour that are published in Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age, click here.
An anomaly in the design world, Amsterdam based Marcel Wanders (Boxtel, the Netherlands, 1963) has made it his mission to “create an environment of love, live with passion and make our most exciting dreams come true.” This philosophy is most apparent in Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age, a book born out of Marcel’s profound admiration for the incredible artistic and intellectual legacy that is the Gallery of Honour in the Rijksmuseum.
Marcel’s work excites, provokes, and polarises, but never fails to surprise for its ingenuity, daring and singular quest to uplift the human spirit and entertain. From opening his studio in the heart of the Jordaan area, where over 50 design experts work every day to publishing Creative Amsterdam in 2009 – a book devoted to the city’s intellectual, political and creative history – to designing the interior of the Andaz Prinsengracht set in Amsterdam’s former public library, each of Marcel’s career milestones has led to his heroic homage to these 17th-century Dutch masterpieces made available to everyone.
Marcel is bringing the human touch back to design by ushering in design’s ‘new age’ in which designer, craftsperson and user are reunited. In his process, Marcel defies design dogma; instead, focusing on holistic solutions rather than the technocratic. In Marcel’s universe, the coldness of industrialism is replaced by the poetry, fantasy and romance of different ages, vividly brought to life in the contemporary moment.