In fact, Frits Lugt had a very extensive collection of artworks from famous artists such as Rembrandt and one particular exhibition highlighted works of Rembrandt and others that he knew, which were all from the original private collection of this museum in Paris. There is also an extensive historical library that was put together by Fritz Lugt, which has been expanded by the Fondation Custodia.
But do not think that you will only get to see the Frits Lugt collection within the museum of the Institut Neerlandais, as there are often different exhibitions of art works displayed in a comfortable, yet smallish and intimate space, rather than the permanent collection. And to give you an idea, during May and June 2013, there are works from three conceptual Dutch artists being shown.
Now, you will find that there are in fact two different buildings, as on the street side you have the Institut Neerlandais that also provides language courses, literature, dance and music events along with Dutch cinema films, plus there is an extensive library and a multimedia centre as well as the art exhibitions.
But by crossing the courtyard, you will get to the original mansion house called the Hotel Turgot, which is where the Frits Lugt museum collection is housed by the Fondation Custodia who is still in charge of the whole collection and museum.
So, at certain times there are guided tours organised at the Hotel Turgot around the different rooms that make you feel like you have gone back in time, but also parts of the original collection are available for viewing by prior appointment.
Access to the Institut Neerlandis and the Fondation Custodia
The Institut Neerlandais, Netherlands cultural centre is open for exhibitions on a Tuesday to a Sunday from 1pm through to 7pm, but times do vary for other activities that are organised here, however, it is always closed on a Monday.
As for the Fondation Custodia, to view parts of the Frits Lugt collection, the Hotel Turgot is open on a Monday to Friday from 10am through to 1pm, but this is only via prior appointment.
However, as we quickly mentioned above, there are guided tours organised throughout the year and normally these are held on set Saturdays each month, with a duration of one hour. And you will be pleased to know that these are completely free of charge, yet these do have to be booked well in advance.
Normally you have to book at least two to three months in advance or longer depending upon the time of year, otherwise you may well be disappointed and to give you an idea, when writing this, the next available guided tour that is not fully booked is four months away!
The nearest Metro stop is called the Assemblee Nationale, but a little bit further you have the Musee d’Orsay stop right by the Musee d’Orsay museum, yet going the other way, you have the Metro stop of Invalides, which is also the RER station.
Yet bear in mind that it is also close to the River Seine, which means that the Batobus water bus also stops nearby, plus the bus numbers 63, 73, 83 and 94 will also get you within easy reach of the Institut Neerlandais and the Fondation Custodia Musee Frits Lugt Collection.
Address and Contact Details
Institut Neerlandais et Fondation Custodia
121 Rue de Lille
Ile de France
Institut Neerlandais Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 59 12 40
Fondation Custodia Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 05 75 19
Fax: +33 (0) 1 45 55 65 35
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Institut Neerlandais and the Fondation Custodia in Paris
The Institute Neerlandais is the Netherlands Cultural Centre in Paris that was founded by a Dutch art collector, which combines exhibitions and a museum along with numerous cultural activities, meetings, courses and much more.
About Institut Neerlandais and the Fondation Custodia
The building itself was a former mansion house, but after World War II, and Dutch art collector by the name of Frits Lugt purchased the building and started to put his private collection of drawings, paintings and prints within it, which was known as the Fondation Custodia.
It was ten years later in 1957 that he founded to the Institut Neerlandais as a centre to promote Dutch culture and being one of the oldest foreign cultural centres in Paris, since then the amount of art works has continued to grow and has become a place for exhibitions, although these are forever changing.