Get to know… het Nederlands Tegelmuseum

Het Nederlands Tegelmuseum (Dutch Tile Museum) displays the largest and most versatile collection of Dutch wall tiles and tile pictures from the late Middle Ages to contemporary ceramics. An unique and historically important collection of a special branch of Dutch design.


Five centuries of art, culture and history melt together in an apparently simple building material. That’s what makes it so exciting. The Netherlands has a unique place in the history of tiles, tile pictures and ceramics. You can see this in the museum. Ceramics are timeless and reflect the developments in art, technology, architecture and everyday life. The collection of the Dutch Tile Museum is diverse. You will find impressive tile panels that have decorated palaces, churches, schools, shops and houses for centuries. From Dutch Renaissance to Baroque, from tiles in Art Nouveau and Art Deco style to works of art by Maurits Escher and Karel Appel, among others.

Just decades ago, handmade tiles were still an everyday phenomenon in Dutch homes and buildings. Now that this image is increasingly disappearing, the Dutch Tile Museum ensures that this traditional Dutch piece of culture is not lost. The representations on tiles tell a lot about the lives of our ancestors and thus form a mirror of our history.

Of course, the Dutch Tile Museum also pays attention to the production process of the tile; through photos, tile pictures and an exhibition of machines, tools and raw materials.

On display

In the first room visitors learn how the tile was produced. The following rooms provide a historical overview of the development of Dutch tile from the 16th to the 20th century. You can also see examples of tiles from the 18th and 19th centuries. In these times large numbers of tiles with landscapes and pastoral scenes were made. A fireplace has been built in one wall with a few Frisian flower vases and festoons with musical instruments.

There is a room where tiles and tile panels depicting biblical scenes in blue and manganese are displayed. An important place is occupied by a tiled fireplace that was typical for houses and farms in the region from Zaandam to Enkhuizen in the province of North Holland. The tiles of these fireplaces were made in Amsterdam and Harlingen. This fireplace is known as “smuiger”. In another room you can see two themes: ships and sea creatures. Rare tiles are presented in the display cabinets, of which only a few copies exist. The rarest is the “tulip tile” of which only 23 copies are known.

In the cinema you can see many large tile pictures that come from early twentieth-century buildings. Almost all of those buildings have now been demolished. In some tableaux you recognize the Jugendstil or Art Nouveau style. This style was very popular in the early twentieth century.

All in all, this tile museum is very diverse and a special introduction to the culture and art of tile making.



Museum informatie

Nederlands Tegelmuseum

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