Museum van Bommel van Dam: by and for everyone. That is our vision. We believe in the power of modern and contemporary art. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience this power–to wonder, to connect, to experience and to learn. For everyone. Art is there to make people think–about life, the world, and their own role in society. Art creates awareness and contributes to the society of tomorrow.
As a museum, we are at the heart of society. Interaction with the public forms the basis of our museum. What goes on in people’s minds, and how can we respond to this? How can we connect with the public? For us, our art is the means to establish that connection and to contribute to the social development of Venlo and the surrounding area.
Our initial motivation for participating as pilot partners was to make part of our collection available on our website or in our exhibition as 3D models. In this way, we hope to introduce visitors to our collection, to fascinate them, to enthuse them and to exchange information. The 3D models would be used as a means of connecting with our audience. Now, one year into the project, we discovered that there are even more possibilities when making 3D models of art.
In addition to reaching the public, 3D models are also a way of preserving heritage. It’s a snapshot of art. It’s a way to show heritage, without having to move the object or without having the object physically present. It’s a way of introducing people to art without having them to be physically near the object. We are a museum by and for everyone, including people who are unable to physically visit the museum. It is a way to view objects even better, to get and add even more information from and to an object. It can also be a way to introduce new audiences to our collection in a playful way. The possibilities are endless.
As a pilot partner of the PURE3D Infrastructure, we will be exploring what it means to create a 3D scholarly edition of a modern art collection. Our challenge is to discover how to harness the benefits of interactive 3D objects by layering stories and information about single works of art in a way that also feeds into a wider collection narrative about the museum, its founders and the wider Venlo community.
In addition to creating 3D models together with narratives of our collection items, we as a museum see even more possibilities. For example, we have a small sub-collection of ethnographica about which a lot of information remains unknown. Using the PURE3D Infrastructure, we would like to get a better picture of this collection by publishing 3D models of the objects online together with the data and stories that we do know so that interested parties and experts could examine it and maybe even add information that we don’t yet know.
We also have a beautifully renovated museum building, a national monument from 1938 with many authentic details. If an object can be 3D-scanned why not a complete building? One possible outcome of this project would be to have our museum building completely scanned and made into a virtual environment so that every visitor can walk through the building from home, from school or from work and to gain knowledge about its history, architectural style, furnishing elements, details, and so on.
Another outcome could be to create virtual exhibitions or to turn a certain space into a virtual environment, such as our ‘Stijlkamer’: this is a space in the museum where the living room of our founders, the couple van Bommel – van Dam, is recreated with their original furniture and works of art. It could even be possible to develop a game, where visitors, young and old, can virtually set up an exhibition with our collection. That’s what makes our participation in this pilot project so exciting–to see what is possible together.
As I mentioned before, some of our sculptures were photographed and converted into 3D models. These models are still rough versions, but they already show some of the possibilities.