fries museum wins the silver

fries museum wins the silver at national heritage awards in london

This year the National Heritage Awards ceremony was held in London on 15 May. The Fries Museum’s exhibition Escher’s Journey was awarded the silver in the category ‘International Project of the Year'. The Australian National Maritime Museum won first prize, but the Fries Museum received an honourable mention from the jury. Director Kris Callens on the achievement: ‘We are learning more and more how to perform as a regional museum on the international stage. It would be great if we could maintain this from Friesland.’

With a total of 256,450 visitors, Escher’s Journey (28-04-2018 to 28-10-2018) is the most successful exhibition in the history of the Fries Museum to date. In the exhibition, visitors followed Escher’s development from a graphic talent to a world-famous artist. With more than eighty original prints, around twenty drawings and various photographs and objects, visitors walked in the footsteps of the travel-mad graphic artist, who found inspiration for his best-known works in Italy and Spain. XPEX Amsterdam’s innovative exhibition design enhanced the experience of Escher’s life and work.

Due to its unprecedented popularity, the Fries Museum was sold out almost daily for half a year and therefore extended its opening hours several times. Visitors gave the exhibition an average score of 8.4. The press also paid a lot of attention to Escher’s Journey. Dutch newspaper NRC awarded the ‘beautiful exhibition’ five stars and called it ‘breathtaking’ and ‘stunningly well-lit’. The BBC proclaimed Escher’s Journey ‘the artistic highlight of the Capital of Culture’, and New Scientist spoke of a ‘beautiful, enlightening and comprehensive exhibition that is definitely worth a visit’.

The exhibition ‘Escher’s Journey’ was made possible by the main sponsor ING, the Blockbuster Fund, the Mondriaan Fund, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, St. Anthony Gasthuis, De Haan Advocaten & Notarissen, Leeuwarden-Fryslân Cultural Capital of Europe 2018, Aegon, Provinsje Fryslân and the BankGiro Loterij. Special thanks go to Mark Veldhuysen (M.C. Escher Foundation), Federico Guidiceandrea and Robin Lutz.

The Fries Museum is co-financed by the Abe Bonnema Foundation, the Province of Friesland, the Noord-Nederland Partnership, EZ/Kompas, the BankGiro Lottery and Aegon.