Studio Droog combed the Rijksmuseum’s new digital archive for inspiration for a new collection shown during Milan’s Design Week. Here’s the Merkelsche Centrepiece by Wenzel Jamnitzer from 1549 …

… which inspired this Centre Piece, where the filigree is actually additional 3-D printed pieces scouted from the museum’s online collection.

This plate with Imari decor from a porcelain factory on the Amstel dates way back to 1784 to 1814.

It became the basis for these, decorated with a modern take on the motif.

This pleated linen collar also features a stitched border, made by an anonymous artisan from around 1615 to 1635.

Studio Droog turned that into a minimal Napkin Collar for the dinner table.

A spoon painted with insects and fruits from the 1750s.

A butter trowel, also painted with insects and fruit, from the Porzellan Manufaktur Meissen in the 1750s.

A silver sugar spoon from 1783.

An embroidery by Albrecht Dürer with a rectangular shield, Albrecht Dürer, 1507 to 1521.

deJongeKalff turned that into a Rubber Tablecloth.

Historical glassware is blacked out for blind tastings. White or red? Try it and see!

Still life with flowers and glass vase by Jan Davidszn. de Heem, 17th Century.

Still life on a living, breathing being.

The new collection, together.

A view of the exhibition.


In The Rijksmuseum's Digital Archive, Old Masterworks Inspire New Designs

Droog used Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum’s newly digitized collection as the source material for a series of new works.

Amsterdam’s famed Rijksmuseum recently emerged triumphant from a decade-long renovation project. In addition to the extensive on-site overhaul that transformed the 125-year-old institution into an LED-lit, chronologically arranged journey through art history IRL, the reopening also marked the debut of the Rijksstudio, an incredible online resource that allows virtual visitors to explore hi-res versions of a staggering 125,000 works.

In order to highlight the creative potential inherent in this digital treasure trove, the modern-day Dutch masters at Studio Droog combed the archives for inspiration, and, along with the material experts at deJongeKalff, produced a series of new pieces inspired by several jewels in the museum’s newly-digitized permanent collection. Yowza. The result is a fascinating, century-spanning collaboration that mixes form and function, offering both an introduction to the past and a glimpse of the future.

Considering the sheer scale of the catalog, it’s tough to imagine the process of narrowing down the options and committing to a finite selection, but the picks represent an interesting range of eras and mediums: a 17th-century ruffled linen collar becomes a decorative napkin ring; a series of intricate antiquated cutlery comes together in a re-imagined set that includes such "forgotten" tools as the salt scoop and fruit spoon; a floral still-life becomes a temporary tattoo. By far the most ambitious of the set is an elaborate centerpiece that updates Wenzel Jamnitzer’s filigreed 1549 original with mini models—3-D printed, natch—of even more works from the collection. Meta, man.

There’s no doubt that the Google-ization of art is changing the way we experience and interact with museum holdings that were once only available to view in person (just ask Mark Moscovitz). And while making the epic scroll through the world’s most amazing artifacts does, in some ways, reduce it to the amount of attention you may pay to a Pinterest page, there’s something truly remarkable about having these resources at your fingertips.

Check out the Rijksstudio here.

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