Dec. 20, 2018

In its anniversary year, Kunsthal Rotterdam is headed for a record number of 415,000 visitors, the highest number in its 25-year existence. With free outdoor events such as ‘Kunsthal LIVE on Sunday’ and 'WATERLICHT’, the Kunsthal also managed to attract 35,000 extra visitors to the Museumpark, a number of whom also visited the exhibitions at the Kunsthal.

Up until now, the Kunsthal record stood at 334,000 visitors in 1998. And compared to 2017 (239,645 visitors) the Kunsthal managed to realise an increase of over 175,000 visitors in 2018.  

Younger audience and attractive events

The Kunsthal is open to everyone and is promoting this in its varied programme of exhibitions and activities. For years now, the Kunsthal has been positioning itself as one of the most visitor-friendly museums for literally all target groups: from fashionistas to art and music lovers, surfers to seniors, design freaks to families and numerous young people. The Kunsthal is proud that its mission this year has led to such an evident result, thanks to its visitors and the many (inter)national partners and sponsors who made it all possible. 

Director Emily Ansenk: A fantastic year! We were able to achieve this wonderful result also thanks to our many committed partners, lenders, artists and visitors. Thank you, dear visitors! 

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Highlights in 2018

The high visitor numbers are the result of the many highlights in 2018. In large numbers our visitors embraced the exhibitions ’Hyperrealism Sculpture’ and ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’. Other successful gems included the exhibitions about Michael Kvium, Dick Bruna and Hugo Claus. While in 2017 the Kunsthal focused on its own internationally traveling Peter Lindbergh exhibition, this year the theme of ‘going outside’ took centre stage. The Kunsthal was even more active in looking beyond its walls to liven up the Museumpark and involve new target groups in its programme. ‘All you can Art’, for instance, a unique project in collaboration with Instituto Buena Bista Curaçao with artists who, for six weeks, work on forging connections and involving everyone in making art. With a Summer School, open studios and even a mobile studio driving through the city, this project realised many extraordinary encounters. 

The outdoor festival ‘Kunsthal LIVE on Sunday’ gave the Museumpark a vibrant dynamic during six Sundays of free live music, DJ’s and food & drinks. And for three nights in a row in October, 'WATERLICHT' by Daan Roosegaarde attracted 25,000 visitors to the Museumpark who wanted to be amazed by and experience this dream landscape in person. This event took place on the occasion of the successful exhibition 'Action <-> Reaction. 100 Years of Kinetic Art’ about light and movement in the arts. This crowd-puller for young and old will remain on view until 20 January 2019. For all Christmas holiday activities please visit

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Collaboration with cultural partners

This year the Kunsthal again joined forces with numerous partners including the IFFR, AfroVibes, Operator Radio, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam Festivals, ING, the Doelen Ensemble and the Rotterdam Running Crew to realise vibrant public events such as the Hyper Weekend, The Perfect Night, Naked Tour, MASH-UP!, Masterclasses, Artist Talks, Neem de Kunstbuzz, the Kunsthal Night Light Run, the weekend of Kunsthallucinations and our newest activity See you later, illustrator! where children can make a comic strip with the help of a poet and an illustrator. 

For their generous contributions, the Kunsthal would like to thank all funds, sponsors and partners, including:

main sponsor ING, the municipality of Rotterdam, BankGiro Lottery and BankGiro Lottery Fund, VSB Fund, Prins Bernhard Culture Fund and the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund Breeman Talle Fund, Droom&Daad Foundation, VandenEnde Foundation, Mondriaan Fund, Nationale Nederlanden, Coolblue, Foundation Elise Mathilde Fund, Retourschip Foundation, Bevordering van Volkskracht Foundation, Fonds21, Zabawas Foundation, MediaCenter Rotterdam, Rotterdam Festivals, Rotterdam Partners, Hans Boodt Mannequins, Winsor&Newton, Bijenkorf, Mainport Hotel and Vogue. 

Preview 2019 

In the spring of 2019, the Kunsthal will present another wonderfully varied and contrasting exhibition programme that is made possible in collaboration with many (inter)national partners. From contemporary art from the collection of Rattan Chadha in ‘Trouble in Paradise. Collection Rattan Chadha’ to a journey of discovery through the many different types of science fiction in ‘Science Fiction. A journey into the Unknown’. 

Friday open until 22:00
Celebrate 40 years of Summer Carnival during Friday Night LIVE on 19 July. All exhibitions will be open during the evening.
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