Home > Blogs > Robert Study Abroad, Spring 2007 > 4 March 2007 - Rotterdam & Museumnacht

4 March 2007 - Rotterdam & Museumnacht

Posted by admin on March 4, 2007

Last weekend 5 of us went to Rotterdam for the afternoon. The picture to the left is of the "cube houses". I haven't toured inside them yet, but I'll get to that eventually.

We only spent about 3 hours in Rotterdam because the weather wasn't cooperating. It was raining most of the time, and when the rain stopped we were still subjected to a light drizzle. One thing we did do was purchase admission buttons to Museumnacht, a museum open-house that would be held the next Saturday (yesterday, March 3rd).

The architecture in Rotterdam was very modern. Being leveled during WWII (courtesy of both the Nazi's and Allies) has a lot to do with this. Most buildings aren't as radical as the cube houses, but nearly everything is shiny, made of metal and glass, and has straight, clean-cut lines. The Erasmus Bridge (see picture to the left) is one of the city's most famous landmarks and it was one of the cooler things we saw during the afternoon.

Last night 8 of us went back to Rotterdam for museumnacht. Along with us 5 from ISU, there were two guys from the University of Texas (studying petroleum engineering here at TU Delft) and a TU Delft 1st year student in aerospace engineering from Germany). Museumnacht (translated "Museum Night") is an annual museum open-house. There were 41 museums participating and only 6 hours to visit them (the hours were from 8 pm until 2 am). We made it to 5 of the museums: Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Chabot Museum, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, TENT., & Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum.

The architecture place was decently interesting. They had some fashion thing on the top floor, and that was just plain weird. The rest of the place had blueprints, elevation drawings, and 3D models of internationally-famous buildings. They also had technical drawings of buildings built in the Dutch East Indies back when the Netherlands controlled parts of Southeast Asia.

The Chabot Museum was just plain weird. I am well aware of the fact that when it comes to art I just "don't get it." Most of the paintings in this museum were somewhat abstract and had that kindergarden finger-painting look to them.

The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen had a lot of great art in it. By great art I mean pieces that demonstrate exceptional talent at depicting life. I have a much greater appreciation for paintings before the 1800's since the goal of those artists was to accurately depict the world around them rather than abstractly scribbling and claiming their scribbles represent (substitute any cliche art phrase in here). This museum was huge, and there were plenty of exhibits that didn't appeal to me. By far, though, the coolest part of this place was the courtyard being as I watched the lunar eclipse progress from its beginning until it became total (pictures).

We only spent about 5 minutes inside TENT. because it was all modern, weird art. One of the exhibits was a reel-to-reel projector playing (it was out-of-focus on the screen) and the film was forming a pile around the projector rather than being neatly collected on a 2nd reel. Another exhibit was simply painted light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Other than the fact that the bulbs were painted (although not exceptionally well), you can find that "art" in most low-income housing units in the US.

The Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum was a school museum. It was interesting to see the old-style desks and they had a room where you could try writing with an old pen which you had to dip in ink. I don't understand how whole books were written like that. The pen doesn't flow smoothly across the paper and writing o's and e's are especially hard because of their upstrokes.

We finally returned to Rotterdam Centraal at about 2:02 am...and the weekend night trains run on the hour between 1 am and 5 am. This meant we had nearly an hour to kill before the next train. A few of us wanted to get something to eat, so we went left the city and found a restaurant to grab some quick food. We caught the 3 am train back to Delft, and I was back at my apartment by 3:30 am.