For art lovers there is a lot to do and see in Rotterdam. Especially in the centre with, among others, the art route along the Westersingel and the sculptures in the park near Museum Boijmans. Here we find some famous museums, close to each other. Next to Boijmans Beuningen you will find the Museum of Natural History, the Kunsthal, the New Institute and Huis Sonneveld. Recently the Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is also standing here.
On the grass, on the edge of the park are three giants of rabbits, made by Tom Claassen. They were placed there on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Kunsthal. They are particularly in demand by children who like to climb on it. In the evening, they often get company of smaller, living specimens.
The Screwarch (screw arch) dates from 1982 and was designed by Claes Oldenburg. As inspiration was the bridges over the river Maas that the sculptor saw during a visit to Rotterdam. Initially, the statue was in the museum for which it was precisely custom-made. Later it moved to the sculpture garden where it mirrors beautifully in the water on windless days.
Koos Speenhoff, born in Kralingen, played a pioneering role in Dutch art. He was a poet, a singer and an illustrator. He described people's life without taking a leaf in front of his mouth. Although he was very loved, he also had fierce opponents who were particularly annoyed by his language. In later years he admitted to being ashamed of his language and adapted the lyrics of his songs and poems where necessary. After anti-Semitic statements in the thirties and pro-German texts during World War II, he fell into disgrace. Just before the end of the war, he died during the bombing of Bezuidenhout in The Hague.
Not everyone agreed that Speenhoff deserved a statue. The statue of the hand of Adriana Blok was originally donated by the Rotterdam Art Foundation to the cabaret of Tom Manders, better known as Dorus. The Rotterdam Art Foundation donated the bronze statue to the cabaret of Tom Manders, better known as 'Dorus'. This image also had a wandering existence but is now on the Binnenweg.
Finally, a real old man, the image of Erasmus. As far as known, it is the oldest bronze statue in the Netherlands. For two centuries, the statue was the only image in public space. It was thought that statues belong in the church and should depict saints. The beerd was designed by Hendrick de Keyzer and cast in Rotterdam by Jan Cornelisz Ouerogge in 1622. The placement of the statue was strongly criticized by the Calvinist preachers who should not have any of the libertine ideas and the mocking of the religion of Erasmus.
The statue survived the bombardment of 1940 and was quickly and inconspicuously removed from its pedestal and then buried in the courtyard of museum Boijmans van Beuningen. After the war, the statue was placed on the Coolsingel but later had to clear the field for the construction of the subway. Now it is on the Grotekerkplein near St Laurentskerk.
Many Rotterdam's child waited breathlessly for a long time in front of the statue because they were convinced that Erasmus would turn a page when the clock was struck.