Cars museum, motoring, racing and luxury
Het Louwman Museum
is open from Tuesday to Sunday
from 10.00 hrs. to 17.00 hrs. . Closed on Monday.
The Louwman Museum opened its doors in The Hague on 3 July with one of the world’s largest and most famous collections of historic automobiles on public display. The new Louwman Museum, which was designed by American architect Michael Graves, not only houses over 230 historic cars, but is also home to the world’s largest collection of automotive art.Queen Beatrix opens the Louwman Museum
The museum contains the private collection of Dutch car importer Evert Louwman, which experts have described as unique. The museum aims to provide the clearest and most fascinating illustration possible of the development of the automobile since 1886, when the very first car was built. Pioneering automobiles from the late 19th century sit alongside racing cars, sports cars and luxury limousines.
Broad spectrum of automobiles
In the Louwman Museum almost all the vehicles, most of which are rare examples, are preserved in their original, often unrestored state. A prime example is the second-oldest automobile in the world – a De Dion Bouton & Trépardoux from 1887 – complete with original signs of wear.
The contrasts between the magnificent luxury cars of the 1920s and 1930s and some of the first attempts at affordable family cars are stark, as are the differences between the American, Japanese and national European cultures and the cars to which they gave rise.
The collection also contains a broad spectrum of other vehicles, including bubble cars, steam cars, electric cars and historic racing cars driven by such legends as Tazio Nuvolari. Other noteworthy vehicles include the eccentric Swan Car from 1910, a hybrid Woods from 1917, the Jaguar D-type 1957 Le Mans winner and James Bond's original Aston Martin DB5.
Dutch motoring heritage
Dutch motoring heritage is, of course, exceptionally well-represented. The Louwman Museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Spykers, as well as the last surviving Eysink from Amersfoort and a DAF 600 prototype from 1957. The collection includes other cars with a Dutch background story, such as the Ferrari that belonged to HRH Prince Bernhard and the orange racing Porsche owned by Esquire Carel Godin de Beaufort.
The museum contains more than just cars. The collection of automotive art, which includes paintings, sculptures and posters, forms an additional and unique attraction. This collection of automotive art, the largest in the world, has never before been on public display and is being exhibited in a specially-designed room.
Back on historic ground
Piet Louwman, the father of the present owner, began building the collection in 1934. The first automobile was a 1914 Dodge, which still has pride of place in the collection. In 1968 the museum opened in Leidschendam and was known as the Nationaal Automobiel Museum (Dutch National Motor Museum), but moved to Raamsdonksveer in 1981. The Hague was chosen as the site of the new museum as the city constitutes a prestige location that befits this unique and world-famous collection.
Historic cars and automobilia
The striking museum building has three floors and over 10,000 m2 of exhibition space. It was designed by the American architect Michael Graves and his associate Gary Lapera. Landscape architect Lodewijk Baljon designed the layout of the park that surrounds the building.
2594 BB Den Haag