After more than a year of hard work Museum BroekerVeiling in Broek op Langedijk finally opens the doors to its new permanent exhibit in the visitors’ center: “Leven van het Land” or “Living from the Land”. Princess Maxima cut the ribbon and did the honors of inaugurating some of the multimedia and games, and is rumored to have said, “I’ve never seen anything so great!”

“Living from the Land” gives an overview of life in the area of Langedijk. Now it’s own municipality, Langedijk was once a string of villages along a levee bordering a great “Island Realm” among the polders of North Holland. The center of the community was the communitarian produce auction, the Broeker Veiling. Built on poles over the water, this collection of Art-Nouveau and utilitarian buildings is the only remaining “sail-through” auction house in the world. It also ranks as the oldest vegetable auction.

Life in Broek op Langedijk centered around the planting and harvest cycle, around cabbages and potatoes, supply and demand. In Leven van het Land we display museum objects and tools from the past, tell stories about adjusting to modernity, test visitors knowledge of agrarian life and paint a picture of sustainable agriculture today.

The exhibit was designed by Todd van Hulzen Design and the multimedia was created by our steady partner Studio Louter. With Studio Louter and the museum curators we came up with the treatment of the collection, the core educational concepts, and the graphic program. And obviously, we created the “decor”.

The decor of the exhibition consists of themed clusters, or “islands”, each with 4 repeating facets of life and agriculture in Langedijk. Each cluster has at least one dynamic element. With the theme “Growing” the dynamic element is 6 pop-up cabbages, modeled after pop-up books, that emerge and unfold from the central unit. With the theme “Harvesting” the dynamic element is a talking potato created with a convex projection surface and a miniature beamer. With the theme “Village Life” we designed a kind of fashion catwalk where wooden cut-outs printed with figures in traditional costume emerge from the central unit on a wheel turned by a crank. Other figures on the central unit turn on a motorized disk among cut-out buildings. For the theme “Consumption” we filled large canning jars with flexible lenses and various objects, backlit by a battery of jar-lamps. Walking past them creates the impression of objects in fluid, suspended but constantly moving.