Just over a month after the exhibition opened, the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden welcomed the 50,000th visitor to Escher’s Journey. Julie and Robert Bloemer were festively received by director Kris Callens, who presented them with an original print by Maurits Cornelis Escher. The exhibition, which has been sold out regularly since its opening, has garnered enthusiastic praise from visitors and inter(national) media alike. Visitors rate the exhibition with an average of 8.4. The exhibition opened on 28 April and can be viewed until 28 October.
Julie and Robert Bloemer from Abcoude came to the Fries Museum especially for the Escher exhibition. That the couple would go home with an original Escher print was a huge surprise. “It’s amazing! The work will be given a perfect place in our home. And it’s also my birthday today so this is very special,” said Julie Bloemer. The Fries Museum presented the work to celebrate the success of the exhibition. The print in question is Trees and Animals(1953). In addition, the lucky visitor received a bouquet of flowers and an exhibition catalogue.
Escher’s Journey is popular. Visitor research has shown that they still rate the exhibition with an average of 8.4. Of the visitors, 96% come to the museum especially for the Escher exhibition. Furthermore, 69% of Dutch visitors come from outside Friesland.
It is not only visitors who are enthusiastic about the exhibition. National and international media are also very positive. NRC awarded the ‘beautiful exhibition’ five stars and said it was ‘breathtaking’ and ‘beautifully lit’. The Leeuwarder Courant also applauded the ‘exceptional lighting’. BBC crowned Escher’s Journey as ‘the artistic highlight of Leeuwarden’s year as European Capital of Culture’, and New Scientist spoke of a ‘charming, illuminating, and comprehensive show that is well worth a visit’.
longer opening hours
The Fries Museum recently extended its opening hours in response to the overwhelming interest. The museum will open one hour earlier until the exhibition ends on 28 October, from 10:00 AM onwards. To prevent people from having to queue for the ticket office, the Fries Museum advises buying tickets online via the website, even if in possession of a Museum Card.
The Fries Museum brings M.C. Escher back to his hometown Leeuwarden. In Escher's Journey you can follow his development from a graphic designer to a world-famous artist. With more than eighty original prints, about twenty drawings as well as various photographs and objects, visitors follow in the footsteps of this travel-mad graphic artist. The journey starts in the grey, flat Netherlands and takes you to the sun and mountains of the Mediterranean. Escher's love of travelling proved to be a determining factor in his artistic development. The sketches he made in Italy and Spain were the inspiration for the masterpieces in which he manipulated reality years later. The exhibition ends with these iconic works that made Escher so famous and popular.
walking in escher’s footsteps
XPEX Amsterdam’s innovative exhibition design enhances the experience of Escher’s life and work.. Visitors can make a digital woodcut in the popular Escherstudio, a reconstruction of his workshop in Rome by art director Leo Zandvliet. Or visitors can make a selfie with a sphere in which the studio is reflected, a reference to the masterpiece Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935). More than 10,000 visitors have already had fun doing this.
An audiotour enables visitors to truly walk in Escher’s shoes. For years the artist reported on his adventures along the way in letters and diaries. In the audio tour Escher’s own words are voiced by director Peter Greenaway. The audio tour costs €1.50 and can be rented at the box office.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive programme of activities, such as various in-depth lectures and art workshops in which visitors can get to grips with the graphic techniques used by Escher.
The exhibition ‘Escher’s Journey’ is made possible by ING, the Blockbuster Fund, the Mondriaan Fund, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, St. Anthony Gasthuis, De Haan Advocaten & Notarissen, Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018, Aegon, Fryslân Province and the BankGiro Lottery.
The Fries Museum is co-funded by the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation, the Province of Friesland, the Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, EZ/Kompas, the BankGiro Lottery and Aegon.