Amsterdam Cat Museum for Cat Lovers
Cat-lovers will purr contently at the art collection of the Cat Museum in Amsterdam. All artworks on display are ‘cat proof’; cat statuettes, cat portraits, cat paintings, cat pop art and cat artifacts. Situated in a beautiful canal house, the museum is also interesting for non-cat-lovers who like to see period rooms with antique furniture.
Dutch financier William Meijer founded Het Kattenkabinet, the Cat Museum, in memory of John Pierpont Morgan, his ginger tomcat (1966–1983) to whom a small section of the museum has been devoted. Museum may be a misnomer; Het Kattenkabinet is rather a private collection which is open to the public.
Every five years William Meijer celebrated Morgan’s birthday with a cat-related special present. On his fifth birthday, Morgan was portrayed by the Dutch painter Elizabeth (Ansèl) Sandberg (1937). On his tenth birthday the gift was a bronze statue, for which Morgan himself was the model. Unfortunately, this statue was stolen before the opening of the Cat Cabinet. On his fifteenth anniversary he was presented with an American one-dollar bill. The text ‘in God we trust’ became ‘we trust no dogs’ and Morgen’s portrait replaced George Washington’s.
The Cat Collection
The museum gives an overview of the role the cat played in art through the centuries. The collection includes cat in art mainly from Dutch and French artists; Rembrandt, Picasso, Corneille, Carel Willink.
The Cat that Went by Himself shows a tree-lined road and a black cat on its way to nobody knows where. This is the epitome of the cat’s self-willed character.
Picasso’s Le Chat sits on its hind legs, pointed ears, tongue slightly protruded and looks at something interesting in front of him.
Non-cat loving architecture buffs also get their share. Het Kattenkabinet is housed in a historical 17th century canal house with 19th century style rooms. The museum is worth a visit not only for its interior but also the views of the garden.
The House Cats
Five real cats prowl about. Like a museum attendant they snoops around the rooms of ‘their’ museum or take a nap lying on the central heating. The owner lives on the top floor and when the doors are open the cats do their inspection round.
Buy here your ticket for the Kattenkabinet online
Adres: Het Kattenkabinet (the Cat Cabinet), Herengracht 497, Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday and Sunday 12.00 – 17.00