The Van Gijn House Museum focuses on the life and collection of the Dordrecht banker and collector Simon van Gijn (1836–1922). He left his homes, collections, and interiors to the Old Dordrecht Society, which bequest culminated in a museum dedicated to the life and work of the affluent class in the city around 1900.
The collection is extremely varied, embracing art and the history of domestic life from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Among other things, Simon van Gijn collected paintings of historical subjects and “Old Dutch art,” glass by Frans Greenwood, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, and Dordrecht silver. The Old Dordrecht Society also possessed a large collection of paintings, antiquities, objects from the city’s history, guild silver plate, clothing, architectural fragments, and toys.
Simon van Gijn dedicated much of his life to collecting prints, drawings, watercolors, and photographs relating to the history of Dordrecht and the Netherlands. This “Van Gijn Atlas,” as it is called, comprises some 35,000 items and is one of the three most important pictorial atlases in the Netherlands.
Wyke Sybesma, Curator of the Applied Arts and the History of Domestic Life, and Dr. Marianne Eekhout, Curator of History (February 2023)