|Located at the first floor of Golden Blend of Herengracht, De KattenKabinet is a museum established in 1990 for the cat named John Pierpont Morgan. / Photo by: Kent Wang via Flickr|
Love cats and art? Then head over to De KattenKabinet, a museum in the Netherlands that houses both! This museum, translated as the Cat Cabinet in English, was established in 1990 by a rich Dutch dude named Bob Meijer in honor of his favorite feline companion, the late John Pierpont Morgan. Before his death, Meijer’s friends also showered the tomcat with gifts including a cat statue, an American dollar bill with Morgan’s face on it as well as the words “We Trust No Dog”, and some paintings, Atlas Obscura says. He was remembered as “headstrong” and “stubborn”. The furry JP Morgan lived from 1966 to1983.
This fanciful cat museum is located at the Golden Blend of Herengracht, on the first floor, Amsterdam Sights states. The upper floor is off-limits because Meijer lives over there with his five beloved cats. Sometimes, if he is not out on a trip, visitors may spot him going down the stairs. They may also catch a glimpse of his cats strolling down the museum halls. The Cat Cabinet also has its own catalog of masterpieces called Kat-alogus or Cat-a-logue.
Going to the Cat-Walk
For people who just can’t get enough of cats and want to visit it, Netherlands Tourism announced that the museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the weekends, that is, on Saturdays and Sundays, it opens its doors from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents do not need to worry about paying for their children below four years old since their admission is free. However, the admission fee for children ages four to 12 costs € 3, while the price of an adult’s admission fee is € 6. For people visiting in groups of 11 or more, their admission fee costs € 4. De Kattenkabinet is closed during the New Year (January 1), King’s Day (April 27) and Christmas (December 25).
Visitors can travel to De Kattenkabinet by walking, driving or riding the tram going there, Amsterdam.info says. If they walk to the Cat Cabinet from Muntplein, it will take them five minutes to get there. If they decide to take the tram, they have to go to the Central station and they can hop on the ones from lines 1, 2, and 5 which will drop them off at Koningsplein. After that ride, they have to turn left to Herengracht. Doing this will take about three minutes. For tourists who want to get there by car, they must look for a metered parking space near the canals or park it in the wide car parks beneath Stopera-Musiektheater/ Stadhuis Waterlooplein 1. Then, from there, they will have to take a ten-minute walk to get to their destination.
Paw-ndering on De Kattenkabinet’s History
In 1667, the museum was originally built as one of the twin houses, which were placed in front of each other, of the brothers William and Adrian van Loon. They had to make a draw to determine which of the identical homes would belong to either of them. The one currently known as De Kattenkabinet is the house which used to be William’s. Several prominent figures, such as Jan Calkoen who was the mayor Amsterdam and pensionary Englebert van Berckel. It has undergone many renovations and its interior mostly comes from the 19th century. At present, Bob Meijer has made the house regain its glory.
A Peek Into the Meow-seum
De Kattenkabinet, although quite small compared to other museums, exhibits an expansive variety of colorful, quirky, cute and lovely cat-themed items such as sculptures, paintings, playbills, photographs, lithographs, sculptures, drawings and more. They usually tie-up with the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum in their exhibitions. They feature some fine artworks such as Zittende kat by Edouard Marcel Sandoz, Chat avec les fleurs by Nicolas Tarkoff and Jachtableu by Henriette Ronner-Knip.
They also display works of popular “cat painters” such as Leonor Fini, Hildo Krop, Fouijita, Jean-Paul Vroom, Theophile Steinlen, Donald Brun, Ed van der Elsken, Ke-es Kelfkens, Sal Meijer, Han van Meegeren, Caren Willink, and Viktor IV. According to the site Cheryll Howard, they’ve even acquired masterpieces by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Visitors will be toured around by the museum guides who present these art pieces in an exaggeratedly professional and serious manner, which makes the visit quite humorous. It would be hard to keep oneself from giggling from the silliness of it all. Cat moms and dads will certainly find the tour amusing. After all, who takes cats seriously? Even they don’t!
They may also scribble about their cats in the guestbook or suggest which cat should be featured next in their exhibit. If they crave to take a piece of De Kattenkabinet with them, they can buy souvenirs like posters and prints in their shop. Their merchandise is also available online.
Who knew that grieving for one’s cat can be expressed in such a creative way as making a museum in remembrance of them? De Kattenkabinet is proof that even if a furry friend passes away, they will stay in their owners’ hearts and owners’ arts
|There are different items to see at the De KattenKabinet like sculptures, paintings, drawings and more which is all cat-themed. / Photo by: PersianDutchNetwork via Flickr|