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Masterly The Hague 2021

A superb combination of talent, inspiration and expertise

Masterly The Hague was a huge success. In four days, over 4000 people visited the festival. At Masterly The Hague, work by contemporary designers appeared alongside classical art. A hundred designers explored how their trend-setting designs connected to Old Masters at five magnificent historical locations.

The innovative Dutch Design Biennial run from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 October 2021 in the historic heart of the royal capital, opposite Binnenhof and around the majestic Voorhout. Lange Vijverberg’s splendid historic edifices provided the perfect backdrop to a series of presentations by contemporary designers. Featured Dutch designers draw inspiration from classical paintings. Willem Jan Hoogsteder and curator Nicole Uniquole are the driving force behind this ground-breaking event. Willem Jan is especially aware of the parallels between Old Masters and modern designers. “They both combine talent, inspiration and expertise to attain aesthetic perfection. Contemporary artists use creativity to present a new perspective on Old Masters. Exciting and original; there’s always something new to find.”

A new venue added this year was the King’s Ballroom on Kazernestraat, once owned by King Willem II. This spectacular venue now belongs to Sociëteit de Vereeniging. Hotel Des Indes had also made its rooms available for Masterly. Like the three houses on Lange Vijverberg – designed in 1750 to form a magnificent palatial rococo complex – these were fabulously furnished by designer Maarten Spruyt. A unique private collection by fashion designer Dries van Noten was premiered by Modehuis Mainstreet.

The contemporary designers mastered many different disciplines, including jewellery, furniture, photography, tapestry, lamps and tableware as well as autonomous objets d’art. They specialised in wood, glass, silver, gold, steel, bronze, porcelain, leather and wonderful fabrics. All their work could be purchased. Participants included famous names such as Jan Taminiau, Saskia Boelsums (Artist of the Year, 2020), Daniël Moesker, Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk, Stefan Scholten and Barbara Nanning. A breath-taking exhibit was the enormous table in the Kings Ballroom decorated with tablecloths by Workingbert and bronze conversation pieces by Nancy Faas.

The upcoming Dutch Design Biennale will run from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September 2023.