Museum De Lakenhal is the gem of Leiden. In THE museum for art, arts and crafts and history of the city you can admire highlights from the collection by Rembrandt van Rijn, the Leiden Fijnschilders, Jan van Goyen, Theo van Doesburg and Jan Wolkers. In De Lakenhal you get to know the glorious and tumultuous past of Leiden.

Our mission is...
De Lakenhal makes visual arts and Leiden’s history accessible for as many people as possible, to inspire them and to contribute to their personal development.   

    De Lakenhal accomplishes this mission by:
  • Obtaining, conserving and presenting the collections visual arts and history;
  • Presenting exhibitions of (inter)national importance based on sources from Leiden;
  • Pursuing renewal in museum practice by developing adventurous, interdisciplinary projects, also in cooperation with external partners;
  • Seeking an open dialogue with the broad audience of the museum: the museum offers information but also stimulates visitors to contribute with their own interpretations and stories.

Employees of De Lakenhal put this mission into practice by passing their knowledge and passion for visual arts and history on to the audience by means of an inspiring, educational and direct interaction.

In doing this they work according to the norms and quality requirements applicable for the museum sector, as recorded in the guidelines of the Ethical Code for Museums of the ICOM, of the Dutch Museum Register and the State Service for Cultural Heritage (ICN).

Our vision is...
De Lakenhal is a classical, elegant museum from 1874 well on the way to becoming a contemporary, adventurous museum of the 21st century. De Lakenhal has a long history, an outstanding collection and a motivated and competent staff. The museum stands out with the adventurous, scientific and visual quality of its exhibitions and collection presentations.

Lakenhal-director Meta Knol is an advocate of the ‘mature museum’. Together with museum directors Stijn Huijts and Edwin Jacobs she wrote the manifest ‘Towards a mature museum’ in NRC Handelsblad, about the position of the museum of today. According to this vision De Lakenhal is not just a historical archive for unique objects, but also a dynamic, contemporary institution. De Lakenhal actively seeks new forms of presentation and interdisciplinary collaborations. De Lakenhal wants to be a museum for all generations: low-key, accessible and socially involved.
The museum does not just give information but also asks visitors for their stories and responses. De Lakenhal wants to inspire visitors with old and new viewpoints, by showing, telling, AND listening. What is your opinion?

Read the manifest here.