A Dutch museum official presented a lecture last Sunday at the ART23 Contemporary Art Gallery on the role museums play as public institutions in both the entrepreneurship and culture of a community.
Alice van der Slikke, business manager of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, discussed topics that are of great concern to many museum operators, such as whether cultural and commercial activities can co-exist and how creative projects can be offered at the same time revenues are earned.
Slikke, who has experience promoting various organizations and museums, gave insight into projects and new business modes that render additional income for the Van Gogh Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum is home to many extraordinary, world-famous works. It gets about 2.2 million visitors annually, making it one of the most popular museums in the Netherlands and an extremely appealing partner for sponsors.
Slikke said that Van Gogh, remembered as an important painter who led a tragic life, had many hardships during his lifetime and died at a very young age. Yet his experience resonates with many artists and common people, which is one of the basic selling points that attracts people to the museum and to learn more about Van Gogh.
To give a fuller picture of Van Gogh, the museum also displays the works of artists whom he inspired or who he was inspired by.
In addition, the museum cooperates with music producers to create themed music about Van Gogh. As visitors appreciate the paintings, they can listen to musics as well.
When asked how small museums can stand out in the increasingly competitive industry, Slikke underlined the importance of social media. She suggested small museums hold different events targeted at young people, who, if they have great experiences at a museum, will post about them on social media. As the information circulates, the popularity will grow.
（By Louis Berney, Kinny Chen）