PRESS RELEASE | 7 May 2024

Museum De Lakenhal is celebrating summer with works from her own collection

With art by Jan Toorop, Theo van Doesburg, Annie Goddijn, Jan Wolkers and more

The sea, a beach, a meadow full of flowers – all evoke summer, which is a recurring source of inspiration for artists. From 16 July to 13 October 2024, more than 30 works from the Museum De Lakenhal collection will be on display in the exhibition Summer! – A Selection from the Collection. Dating from between 1850 and 2000, they reveal the changing perceptions of summer in this period, from being a season of work to a season of leisure.

New meanings

The meaning of summer has changed a lot over the last 150 years. Where summer had previously been synonymous with the busy time of harvest, especially in rural areas, this changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Urbanisation and the introduction of the eight-hour week transformed summer into a season of recreation. The exhibition reflects this shift, for example, in depictions of potato harvesters by Jan Toorop (1858-1928) and Hendrik Valk (1897-1986), or beachgoers by Gé-Karel van der Sterren (1969).

Jan Toorop, Twee aardappelrooiers, 1905
Jan Toorop, Twee aardappelrooiers, 1905 Collectie Museum De Lakenhal
Annie Goddijn, Zonsondergang Wassenaarse Slag nr. 87, 1996
Annie Goddijn, Zonsondergang Wassenaarse Slag nr. 87, 1996 Collectie Museum De Lakenhal

Changing artistic practice

The exhibition also illustrates how the practice of painting has changed over the past century and a half. One particularly significant development was the nineteenth-century invention of the paint tube, which made it possible for artists to paint outdoors for the first time. Artists began to take advantage of summer to work in the open air, using the winter to develop work from their summer sketches. This can be seen in the work of Leiden's Impressionists, including Chris van der Windt (1877-1952) and Arend Jan van Driesten (1878-1969).

Varied works

This exhibition at Museum De Lakenhal presents summer pieces by Dutch artists from Leiden and beyond. Some are over a hundred years old, while others are contemporary. The works vary greatly in their depictions of summer: from potato harvesters to sand drifts, from picnics to an antique ice cream cart. A variety of methods and media have also been used: from flat to spatial, from photography to painting. Together, they provide an associative insight into artistic views of summer down the years.

Jan Wolkers, Zomer, 2003
Jan Wolkers, Zomer, 2003 Collectie Museum De Lakenhal

150 years of Museum De Lakenhal

This presentation is part of a year of celebrations to mark Museum De Lakenhal's 150th anniversary. The year began with the exhibition Rembrandt's Four Senses – His First Paintings. Also on view, until 21 July, is Kimsooja – Thread Roots, the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by this internationally renowned artist. From 21 September 2024 to 2 March 2025, the museum joins the City of Leiden to celebrate 450 years of freedom since the end of the Siege of Leiden. The exhibition Leiden Celebrates – 450 Years of Parades, highlights Leiden's long history of parades.


For more information, please contact Anne van den Dool, PR & Online Communications staff, at a.van.den.dool@lakenhal.nl and +31 6 81 05 27 47.