The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, has once again offered tickets on its website for an anthological exhibition of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), one of the masters of the Dutch Golden Age. They were opened to the public on February 10, just two days later all the tickets were already sold: 450,000 in total. Despite the fact that 200,000 of those tickets were purchased in advance, the demand did not stop, and he kept his room closed until this Monday’s digital window. Although the service was immediately down, access is now possible again. Although the night schedule now runs until 11:00 am, from Thursday to Sunday, the museum does not specify how many tickets can be purchased or until when. And there are almost no schedules available on the web. The state reports the allures and faults of great museum proposals like this: combining the contemplation of a high-calibre work of painting with a veritable avalanche of visitors.
Lots of information
The exhibition dedicated to Vermeer will close on June 4, and preceded the great work of the Rijksmuseum for the period of the transfer of 28 of the 37 works attributed to the artist. It is the first time that the National Museum of Art and History of the Netherlands is hosting the largest anthology dedicated to one of the painters who best recreated and illustrated the domestic interior. The quality of the boards published months before the door is equal, the care has exceeded expectations. In addition, the management of the Rijksmuseum maintains its desire to guarantee a quiet visit, because many paintings are small and difficult to admire if there are crowds. A hard thing to hit today.
What happened with the Amsterdam tickets is not new. In 2016, the museum of Noordbrabant, in the Dutch city of Den Bosch, and El Prado, located in Madrid, commemorated the 20th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus van Aken Bosch, El Bosco. The celebration kicked off on the 13th of February in Belgium and the exhibition attracted 421,000 visitors. The Prado then received 60,000 people, and both numbers were the most successful of their kind. According to Charles de Mooij, the director of Noordbrabant at the time, they calculated that they could add up to 275,000 visitors. “We hired an expert in crowd management, and the museum was simulated with the help of a computer program to measure all the possibilities. It was a regional museum, but with problems similar to those that the Rijksmuseum can have now, with Vermeer,” he says in a telephone interview. Bosch’s cartoon works ended up being overpowered and the hours had to be extended. “Normally, Dutch museums close on Mondays, so we decided to open earlier and close at 11pm.” Last weekend you could enter all day. The added difficulty in these cases is that you need more security personnel, and you have to look for them on the fly,” he indicates. Now retired, he admits that works such as Bosch or Vermeer also have an impact on assignments. “I don’t always ask to extend the return period. On the other hand, this would interfere with the management of the museum’s calendar, to which other institutions are already approaching. He showed himself deep, “You never know if you will have the expected success, and it is better to see how things turn out.”
The tribute to Bosch at the Prado Museum took place between May 31 and September 11, 2016, with an extension until the 25th of the same month. The closing hours will be extended until 10:00 am from Monday to Saturday, and until 9:00 am on Sundays and Fridays, approximately from the beginning. For the last two weeks, it lasted until midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, museum sources say. Despite all these initiatives, “on September 23, the sale was made, due to the impossibility of extending the show.” On the other hand, “all tickets with the time code have been sold” [como ahora en el Rijksmuseum, y luego se puede ver la colección permanente hasta las 17.00 horas] for easier access and capacity control”. “The plan was that no one was left without the spectacle, which meant that the last weekend was open until dawn”, according to El Prado.
Another problem with this type of highly visited exhibition is the resale of tickets. Charles de Mooij mentions seven years of “movement in digital and also in physical size, in the neighborhood of Noordbrabants”, despite the fact that they put a lot of effort to avoid the other. At the moment, platforms such as Dutch Marktplaats or Ticketswap offer Rijksmuseum tickets. Marktplaats is an online auction and this Thursday 4 offer for a total of 135 European coins. The first bid price has already been raised to 160 European coins (an adult ticket is worth 30 coins at the museum site; up to 18 years old, the visit is free). On Ticketswap, its page indicated —at 3:00 am — “one ticket available, 1,001 sold and 8,373 requested.”
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