Museum Catharijneconvent

Bird's eye view of the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, The Netherlands Bird's eye view of the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht is the Dutch national museum for Christian art and heritage. It was opened in 1979. In addition to an outstanding collection of Roman Catholic and Protestant sculptures, paintings and books, the Museum houses one of the world’s most important reference collections of Dutch late medieval church vestments.

The museum is situated in the former St. Catharine’s convent. There have been churches and related buildings in honour of St. Catherine of Alexandria on the site since the twelfth century. It was not until 1560 that the St. Catharinakathedraal was built. The cloister buildings (which now house the museum) were built onto the Cathedral. The complex was closed following the Reformation in the Netherlands in the second half of the sixteenth century. In 1636 the church became a Protestant foundation. It was not until 1795 that the Catholic community re-established itself in the building complex.

The Museum's collection includes the so-called Cope of St. Boniface (accession number ABM t2341), which is made of Byzantine silk cloth, with a richly embroidered hood depicting St. Martin and the Beggar (accession number ABM t2339a).

The condition of many of the medieval embroidered vestments now in the museum is excellent, as many of the textiles were carefully hidden away during and after the Dutch Beeldenstorm (iconoclasm) in the mid-sixteenth century, and since then have not been subject to regular use.

In 2015 the Museum held a major exhibition called 'The Secret of the Middle Ages in Gold Thread and Silk', which included a wide range of decoratively woven and embroidered vestments from its own and other international collections.

Address: Museum Catharijneconvent, Lange Nieuwestraat 38, 3512 PH Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Museum website.

Source of illustration (retrieved 11th August 2020).


Last modified on Tuesday, 11 August 2020 18:41