FrieslandCampina partner of Rijksmuseum

On 1 June 2016, The Rijksmuseum and Royal FrieslandCampina entered into an agreement for a period of three years. The signing of the cooperation agreement took place on World Milk Day, an initiative of the World Food Organisation of the United Nations, which is to highlight the role which milk plays in our daily lives.

The history of Royal FrieslandCampina goes back more than 140 years and the company sells its products in over a hundred countries all over the world. The Rijksmuseum and FrieslandCampina bring the importance of dairy in the Dutch cultural history to the attention of visitors of the museum.

Dairy in art

Dairy always played an important part in the Dutch food tradition. It was and is an important source of energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Milk, butter, cheese, bread and groat porridge can also be seen in various artworks in the Low Countries through the centuries. This is proven by the rich art collection of the Rijksmuseum: from the famous Dutch milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, the still lives with cheeses from Van Dijck to the Dutch polders. The artists of the Hague School had an eye for the beauty of the polder. They painted cows in an open polder landscape. With this they gained high praise and the Netherlands was given the image of a green polder land that not only appeals to the Dutch people, but to people from abroad as well to this very day.

Milk for centuries

People have been drinking milk from cows, horses, sheep and camels for centuries and that is also visible in art. The milk maid of Vermeer is the most famous example of milk in the Dutch art.

‘The Rijksmuseum has a wealth of works of art showing the Dutch history of dairy.’ Roelof Joosten, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.

Dutch landscape

Today dairy is still very relevant for the Dutch landscape, the employment and health. Just like fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy products are a part of healthy food, because of the essential nutrients they contain. FrieslandCampina and the Rijksmuseum draw attention to the art history and historical meaning of dairy. Then and now.

Dairy at the Rijksmuseum

Roelof Joosten, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.: ‘The Rijksmuseum has a wealth of works of art showing the Dutch history of dairy. Just think of The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, the still-life paintings by Floris Claesz. van Dijck or the meadow landscapes by the artists of the Hague School. We really want to share these works with the visitors of the museum and our foreign guests.’

Wim Pijbes, managing director of the Rijksmuseum: ‘Dutch dairy is world-famous, at least as famous as its most well-known representative: The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer. Like the Mona Lisa of the polder, she is annually admired by millions of people. The Rijksmuseum is proud of its partnership with FrieslandCampina.’

Read more about the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.