The Katwijk Museum, authentic and surprising!
The Katwijk Museum is situated in the centre of the old fishing village and combines a unique collection of paintings of Dutch and foreign painters who were drawn to the artist’s colony in Katwijk, with a fine collection of local and regional objects of interest. The charm of this museum, which is entirely run by volunteers, is the attractive lay-out, the permanent collection and the interesting temporary exhibitions.
The museum is primarily housed in an historic villa, but through recent extensions to this house, more exhibition space and room for temporary exhibitions have been created. You can explore the Museum with the help of a (free of charge) Audio tour, by using a map of the interior, or by joining a guided tour.
Of course, the history of the fishing industry is also presented: many models of fishing boats are standing or hanging up in the boat-hall, with authentic tackle and other material through which the development of life around the sea and the importance of the fishing industry for Katwijk from 1600 to 1950 is vividly illustrated. In this entrance hall the skill of the model builders is also demonstrated in the cross-sectioned model of the hospital ship 'De Hoop' (The Hope). A model of the square-rigged two-master ‘Doesburgh’ - that once sailed the oceans of the world - may also be seen here. A beautiful example of local craftmanship. You can also see displays of a number of vanished handicrafts, such as cooperage (barrel-making), sail making and the making and maintenence of the fishing-nets.
The Meerburg room houses the permanent exhibition in which the museum’s own collection is displayed in rotation. The Museum possesses a large collection of paintings from the Katwijk artist’s colony from the beginning of the 20th century. The activity of the fishing industry based on the beach of Katwijk attracted not only Dutch artists such as Jan Toorop, Willy Sluiter and B.J.Blommers, but also foreign painters such as Hans von Bartels and G. Morgenstjerne Munthe. Most works date from the period 1870-1914, but since a few years, the collection is once again being extended with work from present-day artists.
In the monumental ship-owners villa, situated in the oldest part of the Museum, are the so called ‘Gentleman’s room’ or office, of the ship-owner himself - furnished in a neo-renaissance style - and the ‘boudoir’ of his wife, furnished in the original, authentic, neo-empire style. One can also see striking chimneybreasts and leaded glass windows.
On the first floor you will find the Bottema room. This is dedicated to the memory of the painter-engraver and illustrator Tjeerd Bottema (1884 to 1978) who lived for many years in Katwijk and, among others, made it possible, through a legacy in 1983, to build up the Katwijk Museum. On this floor you can also see the Van der Plas room and the new room in which temporary exhibitions are regularly displayed.
One of the showpieces of the collection is the so-called Map of (Konrad) Peutinger: a copy from the middle ages of a 4th century Roman road-map for travellers. From the map one can see that Katwijk (Lugduno) was already an important Roman fortress at the mouth of the river Rijn at the beginning of the 1st millenium.
The Katwijk Museum also displays the finery and formality of the old traditional attire, which has almost completely disappeared from the daily street life. Simple fisherman’s clothing is displayed alongside those of their ‘betters’ or the more well to do. In the special display cabinets, you can examine the precious-metalwork headband-ornaments, jewels, caps and other accessories from close by. One can thus get a good impression of the clothing and ornaments of the inhabitants of Old Katwijk.
The Blommer’s room houses a reading table, a collection of sea-shells and a miniature of part of the boulevard of Katwijk of around 1900. You can also buy a cup of coffee or tea there!
In the Attic, with the help of drawings and historical objects, we see the history and development of the old fishing village from 3000 B.C. to that of the present day town. You can also stand in the interior of the bridge of a drifter from the 1950’s, looking out over Katwijk at rooftop level. And while sitting in a wicker-work beachcabin, you can hear and read about the original Katwijk dialect.
The Museum has developed an interesting puzzle-route for the young, which leads through the whole building and rewards them with a nice prize at the end for the correct answers! The education committee also regularly organizes workshops for the youth.