De Pont, TextielMuseum and Natuurmuseum Brabant: Add to your to-do list!
We’ve spoken a lot here at DutchReview about what events and attractions you should visit in Tilburg. However, the museums in Tilburg need a special mention. If you haven’t done so already, you should consider a trip to Tilburg for the museums alone as they are amazing.
We’re specifically talking about The Museum De Pont, The TextielMuseum and Natuurmuseum Brabant. Here’s why we think they’re so special and certainly worthy of a visit in the upcoming vacation period.
What is Museum De Pont in Tilburg about?
De Pont museum is a hub of contemporary art. The name De Pont comes from the businessman J.H. de Pont whose estate was the foundations to kick-start this contemporary art museum in 1988. This museum is in a former will-spinning mill in Tilburg – certainly a cool place to house contemporary art and creates a unique atmosphere and environment to see all of this.
What do you really need to see at Museum de Pont?
There is plenty to see at Museum De Pont and if we were to talk about them all, we’d be here all day. At their website you can find an extensive list of all the artists featured at De Pont. It’s safe to say that if you have any fondness for art you won’t be bored by everything on display there.
So, we are going to hone in on 2 great pieces that you should definitely see in de Pont during your visit.
- Sky Mirror (for Hendrik) by Anish Kapoor is found outside at the entrance to the museum. It’s certainly a crowd pleaser and looks great, as the six-meter-high sculpture made out of stainless steel reflects the sky (hence sky mirror). It was made in celebration of De Pont’s 25th anniversary and Kapoor’s long relationship with the museum. It’s a beautiful piece and a must-see.
2. Vertigo by Kapoor is another crowd pleaser in De Pont. Okay, okay, yes I know we mentioned another Kapoor piece, but they really are popular (however, don’t forget to check many other great contemporary arts – more info in the next section). Anyway, you can see why this piece draws people in. He didn’t say much about the piece, but this piece tries to play around with your visual perceptions of the world. You and every around you looks distorted and different. It’s both creepy and seriously cool.
Which exhibits are happening at Museum de Pont?
There are many exhibits in Museum de Pont. I’ll give you a quick summary of each, so you can understand what sort of great exhibitions they have at de Pont.
- Until the 3rd February 2019, Anne and Patrick Poirier present Exotica, pieces inspired by the ancient times and archaeology.
- Until 31st March 2019, Ann Veronica Janssens‘ pieces are on display. She uses light, colour and space to create pieces that make the invisible visible again
- From 26th January 2019 – 7th April 2019, Sigrid Calon’s pieces are on display. More info will be on the website soon.
- From 16th February – 16th June 2019, Richard Long’s pieces are on display. He uses products of nature to create geometric shapes out of materials such as wood and stone. He even paints using river mud.
- From 13th April 2019 – 1st September 2019, John Riddy’s pieces are on display. He uses photographs to show modernity and also the light we see it in.
- From 29th June 2019 – 17th November 2019, Luc Tuymans presents The Return. More info on this will be on the website soon.
De Pont has style, loads of style
How to visit De Pont in Tilburg:
The TextielMuseum in Tilburg
What is the TextielMuseum in Tilburg about?
The TextielMuseum (Textile Museum) in Tilburg is a museum that showcases textile design. It’s a very important part of the city because textiles played a vital role throughout its history. What makes this museum unique though, is that it is still a working museum.
Apart from exhibitions showing the past and present, they have the TextielLab, where designers, artists and architects work hard on their new products. This provides the visitor with a unique insight into what they do and you can see it for yourselves!
What do you really need to see at the TextielMuseum?
Tons of things to see there, so let’s zoom in on two not-to-miss items. There are two great exhibits going on at the TextielMuseum right now:
Cultural Threads: Textiles as a tool for socio-political reflection
24 November 2018 till 12 May 2019 – with work by Mary Sibande, Fiona Tan, Jennifer Tee and many more
We live in a world where boundaries between countries and people are becoming increasingly blurred, power relations are shifting radically and cultures are mixing. The exhibition Cultural Threads presents exceptional pieces by contemporary artists who use textiles as a powerful tool to address a range of socio-political issues. They link textiles to their own search for identity and belonging in this ever-changing world. Really interesting to see that textile is often just more than a piece of clothing.
The other exhibit you want to see at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg is one that will, literally, brighten up your day.
Colour & Abstraction | Generations in Dialogue
17 March 2018 till 3 March 2019 Exhibition featuring work by Peter Struycken, Rafaël Rozendaal, Lam de Wolf, Bertjan Pot, Formafantasma and others
In ‘Colour & Abstraction’ the TextielMuseum presents a broad spectrum of abstract textile works from the 1960s to the present. Spanning more than half a century, the works bring two generations of artists and designers to the floor – really nice to see them all set up together.
The exhibition features pieces by both the older generation, which explores colour and abstraction through the medium of textile, and the younger generation, which is interested in colour and abstraction as a subject. Films, sketches and samples illustrating the creative process are also included – all in all a colourfull display!
Website and building: two other things you don’t want to miss from the TextielMuseum
As you might have noticed by now, the TextielMuseum does things differently, it not just art on display – it’s an experience to visit. You’ll see this again in two things: first, really visit their website (click it!). As you might suspect, we see tons of museum websites come by at DutchReview, this is one of the best. Not only is the design really inspiring and have a great English language site, but you can also see what really keeps the museum going and what makes it worthy of a visit. Their events page, for example, has a good deal of interesting stuff going on for young and old.
And last but not least, go to the museum for the building! It’s an interesting place with an old industrial heart and a really popular and colorful café. You can get a good impression of the TextielMuseum and the other museums in Tilburg in this video we made about Tilburg (#3 at 1.50):
Can’t decide between De Pont or the TextielMuseum?
Good news then, both museums or just a few minutes walk apart and during the Christmas Holiday, from Saturday 22 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019, you can visit both museums with one admission ticket. The admission ticket for one museum is valid on the same day in the other museum. A unique opportunity to view the latest exhibitions of Tilburg museums!
Last but not least, back to nature, especially if you have some little ones with you
Natuurmuseum Brabant in Tilburg
What is the nature museum in Tilburg all about?
Natuurmuseum Brabant has been around since 1935, and aims to encourage people to appreciate nature and to educate them about it. The museum showcases a variety of different exhibitions which have been bringing visitors back to the museum for many years. The museum is perfect for children and the whole family, young and old.
Natuurmuseum Brabant is first and foremost a family friendly museum about the lives of plants and animals, and it does a great job of explaining the awesome history of nature to you and your little ones.
What that comes down to? Hunt mammoths in the Ice Age exhibition, observe wolves in the Real Wolf exhibition or become a detective in the OO – ZONE, where you will find over 2000 objects in an accessible museum depot. For the youngest visitors, there are the exhibitions BOS and Frog & Friends where they can visit Frog’s house and play a variety of games.
What do you really need to see at Natuur Museum Brabant?
Two exhibits at the nature museum are not to be missed and would draw millions of visitors if this excellent museum was located in Amsterdam.
First, and you can’t miss it, is the giant whale skeleton. This skeleton (15 meters long, 1000 kilos heavy) comes from one of the three sperm whales, which washed ashore in Scheveningen in 1995. The size is mindboggling for young and old!
The other one is equally gigantic:
Behold this life-size model of the woolly mammoth, at least 3 ½ meters high and 6 meters long. The designers who made the model put the mammoth together on the spot because of its epic size. The woolly mammoth is one of the most famous ice-age animals and the best known of all mammals from the Pleistocene.
Check their website for more info and on how to visit Natuurmuseum Brabant.
Other great things to do in Tilburg if you’re planning a day trip:
As you might know by now, the sixth city of the Netherlands has more to offer than just these 3 beautiful museums. Want to know more? We’ve written about how Tilburg is a great day trip, where to eat and drink in Tilburg and what kind of events are happening in Tilburg.