Interview with Simone Hollen, International Sales Manager, Mauritshuis – Royal Picture Gallery
This year you are celebrating 10 years as an ETOA member. Can you tell us about your company’s journey through the years?
Has it already been 10 years? How time flies… I still refer to my first GEM experience in Wembley!
I’ve been the International Sales Manager for the Mauritshuis since 2012, but I’ve actually worked for the museum since 2003 – always in different functions though. The Mauritshuis is such a beautiful place, and definitely one of the must-sees in the Netherlands! I’m really proud to represent it.
The Mauritshuis is located in the centre of The Hague, the historical and political heart of the Netherlands. A small world-class museum with a formidable collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century; the golden age of this type of art. In 60 – 90 minutes, you’ll discover (in the classical rooms of this magnificent Hague city palace) iconic masterpieces such as the Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to our museum every year.
In 2019, we welcomed almost half a million national and international visitors to our museum. We owe this high number of visitors to our pleasant service, as well as the excellent cooperation with all our travel trade partners!
Are there any new developments you would like to share?
We do have a very special year, it’s the Mauritshuis 200th birthday this year! In 1822 the Mauritshuis first opened its doors to the public. Two centuries as a museum, many years older as a building and it is more magnificent than ever before. The museum is celebrating its bicentenary with special exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Flowers on the forecourt and flowers on the façade. FLASH / BACK exhibition (on display until 16th October), the fine fleur of Dutch photography – sixteen photographers – chose an old master as their inspiration for new work.
The summer months will also see the first outdoor Street Art museum, with large murals based on the collection in various locations around The Hague. And no fewer than 200 writers have also been inspired, each contributing to the book Pen Meets Paint with a piece based on a work of art in the Mauritshuis. The year concludes with the exhibition Manhattan Masters, Dutch masters from the 17th century in collaboration with The Frick Collection in New York.
2022 celebrates the inspiration that for the past 200 years the world-famous collection at the Mauritshuis has provided for countless art lovers, visitors and artists around the world!
How does the ETOA membership benefit your company?
The ETOA membership provides us with many occasions to get in touch with travel trade partners from all over the world. Even under difficult circumstances, like in the last two years, ETOA succeeded to arrange diverse options for online webinars and speed date sessions. For me, this is a perfect solution to maintain a relationship with the partners. Sometimes it was even possible to schedule the speed date meetings in front of the famous Vermeer painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, very unique!
Recently I attended the online City Fair, although a very good digital fair; I cannot wait to see my network in person again later this year at the GEM in London!