ARTIS-Groote Museum celebrates 1-year anniversary

– May 10, 2023

May 12 marks exactly one year since the ARTIS-Groote Museum reopened. The Groote Museum is a place where visitors experience similarities with all other life on earth. Not just by looking but also by smelling, feeling, tasting and hearing. Over 80,000 visitors managed to find the museum last year.

ARTIS director Rembrandt Sutorius - 'At ARTIS, you marvel at nature and all the life around us. From the smallest, invisible life in Micropia, to the animals and plants in the park and the infinite in the Planetarium. At the Groote Museum, you experience connections with all life forms. That makes the museum an important part of the greater ARTIS story.'


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The neon letters Natura Artis Magistra installed for the 1-year anniversary celebrations.


'Age-less interactive'

The vast majority of visitors say they learnt something new at the museum. 'Age-less interactive, makes you think about big themes and holds up a mirror,' said one visitor. About half of visitors are more aware of the role we as humans play in nature after a visit. The desire to return and experience something new is consequently high, at 80%.

New perspectives

The broad programming set up last year, including the series Groote Museum Vraagt, Grote Denkers, and Doeners en Doorbrekers, will be reshaped in the coming year. As in 1855, the reopened museum hosts daily gatherings to study nature. Together with the public, the museum team tackles philosophical questions on current themes. One of the latest get-togethers is about the amount of stuff people collect in today's consumer society.

The Museum of Big Questions

Great thinkers, such as environmental rights activist Jessica den Outer, future food designer Chloé Rutzerveld and primatologist Frans de Waal, share their insights from different fields. On Tuesday 23 May, there will be a special edition of the Grote Denkers series to mark ARTIS' 185th anniversary. Current ARTIS director Rembrandt Sutorius (2017-present) will talk to his predecessors former director Maarten Frankenhuis (1990-2003) and ARTIS founder Gerardus Westerman (1838-1890). In the Oostzaal, they will talk about their time as directors and exchange views on ARTIS through the ages. Actor Helmert Woudenberg plays Westerman. In the same room, a new installation has been set up where visitors can leave their questions. Some of the questions are highlighted.

Karlien Pijnenborg, head of ARTIS-Groote Museum: 'Great questions are important, deep curiosity, a child asks around 75 questions a day. People can now leave their curious questions in the museum, questions lead to new questions and not to a concrete answer. They do lead to a conversation, thought or contemplation.'


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The rear facade of the main building of Natura Artis Magistra, 1865 © ARTIS, Elias Spanier and H.W. Last, Stadsarchief Amsterdam


 ARTIS celebrates 185 years

This month marks 185 years since the establishment of the Zoological Society Natura Artis Magistra. The Main Building, which houses the current ARTIS-Groote Museum, was the first building for the society's members in 1855. The first floor was set up as a museum. Members could study nature arranged in showcases and cabinets full of objects, such as shells, skulls and stuffed animals. People then saw themselves as outsiders: we are here and nature is there. The Groote Museum now offers a new perspective and lets you experience being connected to everything that lives. 

Because of the 185th anniversary, all visitors with their ARTIS-Park ticket are also welcome to visit the ARTIS-Groote Museum and ARTIS-Micropia during the month of May.