A Rotterdam Art Museum Is Launching a Drive-Thru Art Exhibition With Works by Bas Jan Ader, Paul McCarthy, and Others

A Netherlands museum is the latest to try out the drive-thru art trend.

A mock-up of
A mock-up of "Boijmans Ahoy Drive-Thru Museum." Courtesy of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Rotterdam Ahoy.

Here’s a thought you’ve probably never had: “I wish I could drive through a museum like a McDonald’s pick-up window.” Well, a museum in the Netherlands is nonetheless giving art lovers the chance to do just that. 

Next month, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam is launching a drive-thru art museum for electric cars. The idea, of course, is to bring the concept of a public museum to a space where people can experience art from a safe, isolated distance.  

The museum will project some 40 works from its collection on screens at the Rotterdam Ahoy, an arena in the Dutch hub. The three-week-show will look at “man’s complex relationship with nature,” according to its description, asking viewers to consider this dynamic from the metal machinery of their vehicles. 

Among the artists whose works are “going on view” are Bas Jan Ader, Paul McCarthy, Ugo Rondinone, Joep van Lieshout, and Jim Shaw. On site will also be in-person installations by Bas Princen, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Anselm Kiefer, among others.

Hall 1 of the Rotterdam Ahoy. Photo: CB Images.

Hall 1 of the Rotterdam Ahoy. Photo: CB Images.

“We are extremely excited that everyone in the museum has endorsed this plan and that we have been able to realize such a beautiful project in partnership with Ahoy within such a short time, with funds that have been raised extremely quickly from foundations and sponsors,” said Sjarel Ex, director of the museum.

Each day, 750 visitors will be allowed to see “Boijmans Ahoy Drive-Thru Museum,” which is set to run August 1-23. Those interested can arrive with their own electric cars or borrow one on site. From there, they’ll drive around the 33,000-square-foot space on a track that will regulate speeds at a walking pace.

The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen isn’t the only effort to merge the museum experience with the magic of a drive-in theater. Last month, event organizers in Toronto created a driveable exhibition dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh after a more traditional, walking show was canceled. Tickets to the 10-day event, which was presented as a light and sound show, sold out before the opening.


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