Zaans Museum is a museum in Zaandam, Netherlands, founded in 1994. It is housed in a contemporary building designed by architects Cor van Hillo and Monique Verschaeren, right across from the historic windmills and houses of the Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum. The museum covers 16,500 m3 and contains items showcasing the past of the area of the Zaan, and the wealth created by the early industrial activity on the river. The building was expanded in March 2009 with a new pavilion, to house the corporate collection of the Verkade family.
The museum contains cultural heritage and region-related collections on residential and industrial culture. It is based on the collection of the Society for the Preservation and Expansion der Zaan Greenland Archaeological Collection Honig Jacob Janszoon Junior. The museum has two sub-collections, living culture and industrial culture. Within the living culture collection, the museum displays regional dress, painted furniture and utensils found in Zaandam homes. The collection includes industrial heritage by large companies like Zaanse Bruynzeel, Honig, Albert Heijn and Lassie. In 2009, the museum acquired an oil painting similar to Claude Monet's Moulin en Hollande showing the river Zaan and its many windmills by the Belgian impressionist Franz Courtens.
The Verkade pavilion, which was opened in March 2009 by Queen Beatrix,<ref name="beatrix">Template:Cite news</ref> houses the corporate collection of the Verkade family, founders of Verkade, a company famous for its cookies and chocolate. This collection contains photographs, displays, packaging, posters and three operating production lines for chocolate, sponge cake and candles. There is also a treasure house containing the original watercolors of the collectors' albums it published. One section is dedicated to the "Verkade girls" (De meisjes van Verkade). In the early days of Verkade, a large part of the workforce consisted of young women who walked in their company uniform to work; these are occasionally revived for ceremonial purposes, such as when Queen Beatrix opened the pavilion.<ref name="beatrix"/> The section dedicated to the girls is sponsored for an amount of €60,000 by PDZ, one of the country's largest temporary work agencies, which was one of the main providers of women to Verkade's work force since the 1960s.
Tsar Peter house
The museum also oversees the Tsar Peter house in Zaandam, a little wooden house formerly occupied by Peter I of Russia while he was studying shipbuilding at the end of the seventeenth century.
In 2001 the museum received a commendation at the presentation of the annual European Museum of the Year Award; the jury praised especially the modern and open architecture of the building and the educational programs and the presentation of the permanent collection. The lighting design in the presentation won an Award of Merit at the 2000 Edison Awards.
Criticism of the Zaans Museum comes from, for instance, the inhabitants of the Zaanse Schans. The historic wooden houses on the Schans are rented out by the foundation that owns them, and renters have complained about maintenance problems; according to tenants, all available money was spent on the Museum ("a block of concrete") while €4.5 million is necessary to catch up with problems such as rot.
- List of food and beverage museums