Museum De Lakenhal celebrates 150th birthday

day: 1 May, from 10:00 till 17:00

Museum De Lakenhal will celebrate its 150th foundation anniversary on 1 May 2024. We will mark the occasion by offering a full day programme of activities, free of charge.

In its early years from 1874, Museum De Lakenhal was free to visit every Sunday afternoon: the museum has wanted to make the city's collection accessible to everyone. Fully in that tradition, Museum De Lakenhal will also be open free of charge on its birthday on May 1 - with a festive program of presentations, music, workshops, meetings and more.

Practical information

  • Date: Wednesday 1 May
  • Time: 10:00 till 17:00
  • Entry: free
  • Registration: not necessary, you can walk in for free


Opening with aubade and the mayor

10.00 from the quay in front of the museum

The day will be opened with an aubade (a musical performance in the morning to celebrate an anniversary) by the show and marching band Jong K&G. At 10.00 they will play their musical piece from the quay in front of the museum. Then the mayor Peter van der Velden and director of the museum Tanja Elstgeest open the gate and the party really starts. Everyone may enter for free.

Photo: Karin Borghouts

Unveiling new work Claudy Jongstra

at 10:45 in the stairwell behind the ticket booth

New work by Claudy Jongstra will be unveiled 1 May in the stairwell connecting the first floor of the old Laecken-Halle with the floor where the textile history of Leiden is presented. The new work, called Celebrate the Flavours of Wool, follows a 2020-2021 exhibition at Museum De Lakenhal. This six-meter-long work will become part of Museum De Lakenhal's collection. The work will be unveiled by Mayor Peter van der Velden in the presence of Claudy Jongstra.

During the evening program Night of the Senses, violinist Tosca Opdam will perform a self-composed piece of music using Celebrate the Flavours of Wool as inspiration.

Photo: Monique Shaw
Photo: Lidya Nada/ Unsplash

Cake & poffertjes

Museum De Lakenhal treats you to cake and 'poffertjes'! The first 150 visitors of the day will receive cake. Between 12.00 and 15.00 'poffertjes' will be distributed.

New glances by famous and less famous Leiden people

In different places in the museum

Once in the museum you can go in any direction. Wander through the museum and be surprised by the personal stories of well-known and less well-known people from Leiden, who explain why their favorite work of art is so special to them. In this way they provide a new perspective on a work of art or an object.

Photo: Taco van der Eb
Photo: Simone Both


All Day in the Atelier

What will be in the museum 150 years from now? Make your own drawing for the museum of the future. All day in the Open Atelier, you can attend colorful workshops like 'marble with shaving cream' and 'wrap it up!'.

Kids college and flash lectures

from 12.00 till 16.00 in the Auditorium

A program full of children's lectures by special guests and flash lectures by our curators will be available in the Auditorium between 12.00 and 16.00.

Photo: Taco van der Eb

Pictured as Rembrandt's Spectacles Seller

In the Rembrandt Room

And before you go home, you can take a picture as Rembrandt's Spectacles Seller to never forget this day.

Night of the Senses

In the evening you can also visit the museum for free during the Night of the Senses. Inspired by the presentation of Rembrandt's Senses, contemporary artists will play on your senses in different ways.

Photo: Simone Both