Rudolf Steiner
Alchemy of the Everyday

Sept. 13, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015 This exhibition has ended
West-façade from the second Goetheanum, 1928
photo Thomas Dix 2010
For the first time in The Netherlands, the Kunsthal presents an overview of the broad, encompassing work of Rudolf Steiner(1861-1925). Steiner was one of the 20th century's most significant and influential reformers, and his legacy is as relevant today as ever.

Steiner served as a source of inspiration for some artistic giants including Piet Mondriaan, Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Beuys, and still does so for many contemporary artists and designers, such as Olafur Eliasson and Konstantin Grcic. The exhibition presents a rich and extensive collection of furniture, models and blackboard drawings, offering a fascinating insight into his life, work and sweeping intellectual legacy.

An attractive programme of activities focussing on nutrition, architecture, dance and social entrepreneurship, along with a Steiner-day and symposium, reveal Steiner's ideas in a modern light.

01_Rudolf Steiner blackboard tekening_Hoe verder de mens zich van de aarde verwijdert CAROUSSEL.jpg
Blackboard drawing, ‘How people remove from the world’, April 20, 1923

Innovative Ideas

In the late nineteenth century, Steiner presented his ideas as a universal way of life in which science, art and spirituality were one and the same thing. In Steiner’s vision, everything is connected; the planetary system influences the growth and development of nature and man’s well-being, and he felt that man should be aware of this. He developed the anthroposophical doctrine, which is based on man’s free progress through research, inner development and linking the earthly with the spiritual. Steiner used his artistic and philosophical views to improve everyday life in a practical fashion. Along with some strong criticism, Steiner’s innovative ideas attracted many followers. Over a century later, hundreds of Steiner free schools, health clinics, farms and financial institutions still follow his anthroposophical principles.

09_Konstantin Grcic_Chair One 2001 ©Vitra Design Museum foto Andreas Sütterlin.jpg
Konstantin Grcic, 'Chair One', 2001

Intriguing Interplay

The Kunsthal exhibition places Steiner in the context of his day, a time when new art movements were appearing and scientific discoveries being made in rapid succession. It shows how Steiner, under these influences, developed and shared his ideas with the world. The exhibition also highlights Steiner’s intriguing interaction with famous contemporaries such as Franz Kafka, Piet Mondriaan, Wassily Kandinsky and Frank Lloyd Wright. ‘Alchemy of the Everyday’ also shows how Steiner developed an entirely new organic aesthetic in architecture and design. The furniture and buildings with their natural shapes that are so characteristic of Steiner’s work, exhibit a clear parallel with contemporary design by artists, designers and architects including Olafur Eliasson, Ronan & Ewan Bouroullec and the Rotterdam-based 24H Architecture. 


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