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Pieter De Hooch exhibition at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft attracts record amount of visitors
Arrival first painting Pieter de Hooch in Delft. From left to right: Julia Nauhaus (Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Vienna), Heidemaria Gürer (ambassador Austria), Janelle Moerman (Museum Prinsenhof Delft) and Marja van Bijsterveldt (mayor of Delft). Photo: Evert Elzinga.

DELFT.- The exhibition Pieter de Hooch in Delft: From the shadow of Vermeer attracted a record number of visitors to the Museum Prinsenhof Delft. Between 11 October 2019 and 16 February 2020, a total of more than 90,000 visitors viewed the first retrospective exhibition in the Netherlands on this famous 17th-century Delft master. Until now, the 2016 exhibition Vermeer komt thuis (Vermeer returns home), had attracted the largest number of visitors to the Delft museum - 57,000.

‘In the past months, fully 90,000 visitors, including many from abroad, came to Delft for the first retrospective exhibition in the Netherlands on Pieter de Hooch. In addition to the unanimously laudatory reviews in the national and international media, the museum received countless positive responses from individual visitors. With this exhibition, we have not only been able to give Pieter de Hooch the attention he deserves: he is now inseparably tied to Delft and has definitively stepped out from the shadow of Vermeer.’ Janelle Moerman, Director, Museum Prinsenhof Delft

Greatly appreciated by the public
According to research on visitors to the exhibition continuing through 16 February 2020, carried out by Kantar and commissioned by the Museum Prinsenhof Delft, 89% of visitors awarded the exhibition an 8 out of 10, or higher; 9% gave it a 10. On average, visitors evaluated it with an 8.4.

Favourable economic effect for the city
Of those interviewed, 75% indicated they had come to Delft especially for the exhibition. 13% of the visitors spent a night in Delft, adding up to 14,500 nights. Approximately 10% of the visitors travelled to Delft from abroad for the exhibition. Most of the online tickets sold to visitors from abroad were sold to people from neighbouring countries: of all international tickets, 26.83% were sold in France, 23.28% in Belgium, 19.10% in the United Kingdom and 14.95% in Germany. 47% of visitors spent money in the city before or after viewing the exhibition. The average expenditure per person was € 69.50; generating more than € 6 million spent in Delft.

School visits and special receptions
Among the 90,000 visitors were 2,000 primary and secondary schoolchildren (71 school classes). Special receptions were also organised: evenings exclusively for women and for residents of Delft with diverse cultural backgrounds, a day for members of CODART (an international network organisation for curators of Dutch and Flemish art) and a symposium in cooperation with RKD, the Netherlands Institute for Art History, which was sold out.

The exhibition
Pieter de Hooch in Delft focuses on the period of the artist’s greatest flourishing (ca. 1655-1660), when Delft played a leading role. Masterpieces came to Delft from around the world: Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the National Gallery of Art (Washington), the Kunsthaus (Zürich) and the Royal Collection Trust (from the private collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II), among others, lent paintings to the museum. Among the works on loan are many famous paintings, such as the exhibition’s key work The Courtyard of a House in Delft (1658), from the National Gallery in London. For two years prior to the exhibition, a range of multidisciplinary research projects was carried out in cooperation with, among others, the Rijksmuseum. The research revealed the influence of Delft on Pieter de Hooch to have been greater than previously thought. The findings of the research are recorded in the extensive catalogue published in cooperation with WBOOKS. With its 29 masterpieces, Pieter de Hooch in Delft was the most ambitious exhibition ever at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft and was made possible by the Turing Award 2017. The exhibition was part of the national commemoration of Rembrandt and the Golden Age in 2019, and was the highlight of the Delft celebration of Delft & the Golden Age.

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