This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

The Oldest City Panorama

As of 24 March 2019, the Bastei presents the oldest Dutch city in a surprisingly new way. The ‘Nijmeegsch Rondgezicht’ Derk Anthony van de Wart (1767-1824) has been enlarged to 100 times its original size and offers a unique view of the 19th century landscape. The ‘Nijmeegsch Rondgezicht’ is the oldest city panorama of the Netherlands. Derk Anthony van de Wart captured this vista in 1806, from the Belvedère, just after the destruction of the Valkhof castle.  It shows the cramped fortified town amidst the grand and vast river landscape. It is for this exhibition that Kees Moerbeek has enlarged the original etchings and has complemented it with information in order to provide a clear picture of life in the beginning of the 19th century.

The Weimar Republic

The four chapters of the exhibition highlight the central challenges in politics and society faced by contemporaries of the Weimar Republic. The focus lies not on the downfall of the Weimar Republic, but rather on how the citizens dealt with the controversial topic of what democracy is and should be, and how the decisive principles of democracy evolved. The energy and modernity with which democrats addressed these problems are indeed impressive and visionary. Many of the freedoms and creative latitudes they fought for and defended are milestones and have lost none of their actuality: women’s suffrage established in 1919, compromise as a fundamental principle of democracy, the implementation of the social state, the. Democracy constitutes, so far, the best form of government. The exhibition is based on this principle.

War to the Destroyers

The Victor Hugo House and the Musée du Temps present an exhibition dedicated to Victor Hugo (1802-1885) and his commitment to preserving cultural heritage. He wrote a pamphlet about this in 1832. Interest in the Middle Ages and its heritage was born in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century, at the beginning of the Romantic Period. Medieval monuments were previously seen primarily as remains of a barbaric era, good as building material for new projects. Victor Hugo was one of the first advocates for the preservation of this heritage and he declared war to the destroyers, a still topical theme.


Optical Illusions and Fake News Forever

Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), Trompe l’œil with cat, 18th century. © Sammlung Henri und Farida Seydoux, Photo: Kunsthalle München.

Optical illusions, trompe-l’oeil, visual trickery and deceptions have always been around, particularly in art. Since antiquity, artists have been playing with our senses, reminding us time and time again how easily we are deceived. With examples from painting, sculpture, video, architecture, design, fashion and interactive virtual-reality works, the exhibition weaves a highly entertaining path through the (art) history of appearance and illusion. The exhibition transforms over four millennia of optical illusions into an exciting art experience, with every room holding new surprises in store. Since time immemorial, artists have been searching for new ways of duping the beholder, confounding him with their craftsmanship. Even the frescoes of antiquity impressively simulate three-dimensional images. Baroque church ceilings refine these illusion techniques, seeming to draw the gaze of the congregation up into heavenly spheres. Moreover, during the 17th century, the golden age of illusory painting, audiences were captivated by the trompe-l’œil (fooling the eye). These works are so perfectly executed that the depicted objects seem to emerge from the frames. Today’s digital virtual reality technology offers almost unlimited possibilities of extending the longstanding tradition of optical illusions in ways hitherto undreamed of.