Cat Love
Nine lives in the arts

Sept. 9, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018 This exhibition has ended
Walasse Ting, Untitled ©Gallery Delaive
Cats are more popular than ever. All over the world photos and videos of cats are watched and shared on the internet on a massive scale. It’s beyond doubt that cats trigger warm feelings in their owners, but where does this love of cats spring from? Is it the cat’s rebellious character that appeals to us most? Or are cats lovable simply because of their cuddliness? The exhibition ‘Cat Love. Nine lives in the arts’ shows how cats have been depicted by artists since the second half of the nineteenth century. Both young and old visitors can find out what it’s like to be a cat by creeping and purring their way through this interactive exhibition.

Seven cabinets will highlight different aspects of the cat. From the seductive cats that captivated French artistic circles in 19th-century Paris as symbols of the city’s vibrant nightlife, to cats living the good life while purring and sleeping through each of their nine lives. The rebellious cats we know from the numerous slapstick-like videos that are massively liked on the internet are also featured in the exhibition. A large collection of posters and illustrations shows that cats are often symbolic of femininity and elegance. The exhibition presents masterpieces by Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Karel Appel, Picasso and Wallasse Ting as well as work by contemporary artists such as David Shrigley and the majestic cat photos of Marie Cécile Thijs. This varied selection of artworks offers an insight into the role cats have played in art and explores what make cats so attractive.

This autumn’s cuddliest family exhibition
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Marie Cécile Thijs, His Majesty 2011

Inspired by cats

Cats in boxes, cats pulling faces, cats with unique abnormalities and cats with strange habits are very popular on the internet. International cat sensations such as Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub, as well as some Dutch favourites, are the greatest internet celebrities of this day and age. The exhibition includes (interactive) assignments that give visitors an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a cat. On their hands and feet, young as well as old visitors can creep unseen past bushes and under hedges while other cat lovers can parade on the Catwalk. Visitors can participate in a crash course in ‘doing nothing’ and make their voices heard during meow karaoke. Cat owners can honour their deceased pets by giving them a place in cat heaven and anyone can share a photo of his or her favourite cat-a-like. All senses will be stimulated in this cuddly family exhibition inspired by cats.

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Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, Jachttableau 1850-1900 © Het KattenKabinet


The exhibition was developed in collaboration with Le Musée du Chat, Het KattenKabinet and Gallery Delaive.

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Karel Appel, Ingekleurde kat 1980 ©Het KattenKabinet


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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