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Louwman Museum – Profile and Photos

Report and photos (unless noted) by Peter Helbach

The Louwman Museum was opened by HRH Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on July 2, 2010. This opening marked the culmination of eight years of very hard work by Mr. Evert Louwman and his management team, led by Museum director Ronald Kooyman. Regulations being what they are, this was the time it took, from the first application to build a museum to the actual opening.

Beginning on the Louwman Collection

Owner of the collection, Mr. E.V.N. Louwman
Owner of the collection, Mr. E.V.N. Louwman

Mr. Louwman’s father, Piet Louwman, started collecting cars as early as 1931, when a client (Mr. Louwman Sr. was in the business of importing and selling cars in Holland, among which Dodge) traded in his Dodge 1914 model (a car with all mod-cons) for something newer. This car is “the mother lode” of the Museum and takes a place of pride. The car collecting bug had found very fertile ground and Louwman never looked back. Now the Museum itself houses 236 cars of a great variety and is considered to be one of the finest all-round collections in the world.

The collection grew over the years, either by buying individual cars or by buying whole collections. With Dutch car manufacturing being a small industry, particular pride was taken in buying Dutch cars such as Spyker, of which the Museum has thirteen of the surviving sixteen! The most recent acquisition was the Bianco Rosso collection, formerly based in Asschaffenburg, Germany, owned at that time by Maserati enthousiast Peter Kaus. This collection, mostly twoseater sports-racing cars, is now a prominent part of the Museum.

The Building

Louwman Museum, front side
Louwman Museum, Front Side
Louwman Museum, octagonal pavilion
Louwman Museum, Octagonal Pavilion
Louwman Museum, rear side
Louwman Museum, Rear Side

The building, on the edge of The Hague, a town which houses among others the seat of the Dutch Government, is located in a prominent place next to the N44, the main road out of town towards Leiden and Amsterdam. It was designed by the well known American architect Micheal Graves, who also designed the Ministry of Education in The Hague. The layout is vaguely reminiscent of a large country house, many of which were located in that area in the past. The exhibition space is around 10,0000 sq. m. In addition to that there are function rooms and a full-blown theatre. So, if you want to have a party and see cars, THIS IS IT. The building is surrounded by a landscaped garden which, once fully grown, can only enhance the surroundings.

Louwman Museum – Profile Continued

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Show Comments (8)

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  1. Thank you, Mr. Helbach, for the wonderful images and story on this still little known, important museum. Well done.

  2. An excellent article with fabulous photos. And I sincerely appreciate the mention of one of our best American architects, Michael Graves, something many times forgotten. Thank you.

  3. Perfect timing! We’re planning a Spring visit to Amsterdam and this will make a great day day trip between the Vermeers and the tulips. Thanks

  4. One of the joys of the weekly mail from SportsCarDigest is the link to beautiful reports and pictures of the best places and events. But to be honest I am slightly disappointed by these pictures.
    I am just a free time photographer but I would like to show the pictures I have taken on a spare Sunday:
    http://www.dioncre.nl/Louwman/index.html (feel free to visit other galleries on my site)
    And all petrol heads who visit The Netherlands be sure to visit this fantastic museum. I live just 10 kilometres from this spectacle and I love to visit it every now and then.
    Kind regards,
    Maurice