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Rijksmuseum presents restored and renovated Teekenschool (Drawing School)
Teekenschool, ca. 1925. Photo: Rijksmuseum.

AMSTERDAM.- Now fully refurbished, from April this historic premises will be operating as a multidisciplinary education centre where youngsters can develop their creative talents in a variety of media, inspired by the Rijksmuseum collection. This restores the school building to its original function, but reinterpreted to today. The Teekenschool education centre is made possible through the generous support of the SNS REAAL Fund, VandenBroek Foundation, Louis Vuitton, Stichting Zabawas Foundation and private donors.

Under the ambitious plan for the museum as a whole and its overarching ideal to 'continue with Cuypers', the building and function of the Teekenschool are being given a modern-day restoration to their former glory. The Teekenschool is poised to develop into one of the premier museum education centres in Europe, defining a new way for visitors to personally experience the collection. Connected by the theme of ‘learning to look by doing’, the new centre's three modern studios will accommodate a varied range of activities specifically designed for children (in school groups or with families), encompassing drawing, art appreciation, theatre, photography and multimedia. All of these programmes will take the collection at the Rijksmuseum’s main building as their central reference, often including a visit, and offer an excellent extension of the school curriculum. Besides activities for children, the Rijksmuseum is also developing a programme of continuing education for adults, with an ultimate view to enriching the museum experience for visitors of all ages.

Established in 1892, the Teekenschool long housed two art schools that were the forerunners of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Rijks Normaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers and Rijksschool voor Kunstnijverheid). The idea and design for the Teekenschool came from the architect Pierre Cuypers, who envisioned it as a school where national art education would be elevated from what he deemed its lamentable state and brought to flourish. Here, pupils would learn by studying the national collection and the many plaster casts of sculptures and buildings arrayed in an inner courtyard.

Marie Hélène Cornips, Director of the SNS REAAL Fund: ‘With its valuable educational programmes revolving around the Rijksmuseum’s collections, the Teekenschool offers children an experience that will last them a lifetime.'

Former pupil Jeroen Henneman: ‘The classes in the garden of the Rijksmuseum, the splendid light in the studios, the Willink (‘Bad Tidings’) across the way, that name – the National Teacher’s Training College for Drawing – everything about it was wonderful.’

Wim Pijbes, Director of the Rijksmuseum: ‘When a person can draw, they have a better understanding of what they see, which is crucial for the world we live in today.’

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