About Museum Geelvinck

At Museum Geelvinck we are redefining what it is to be a Museum, and continue to have a modern and open approach to how we conduct ourselves as a Museum.

The museum of today.. and tomorrow..

Museum Geelvinck is a ‘network museum’, meaning we operate across various locations. In our locations across the globe, vistors are able to see and experience our collections with the changing context of the place around them. In this way, the collections continue to take on new meaning, make new connections and build new pathways from the past to the present. The flexibility of being a network museum also increases Geelvinck’s outreach, which is at the centre of our mission as a museum: to reach as many visitors as possible in order to protect our heritage. While our HQ is at Huize Kolthoorn, we continue to create new partnerships across the globe through our various exhibitions, programmes and collections, offering these as shared heritage to other spaces, learning institutions and organisations across the globe.

Our work

As a Museum, most of our time is spent researching and this can lead in many interesting and unexpected directions. Our focus on Early Pianos stemmed from a fascination with society of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and has led us to conduct research into diverse subjects such as Slavery on the Canals of Amsterdam and the Catherine the Great.

We continue to develop exhibitions and research projects on a range of subjects, and also have our virtual Music Museum.

Our focus on Early Pianos takes shape in the form of regular Salon concerts (usually in Amsterdam), an annual Early Piano Festival and online musical series and podcasts.

History of Museum Geelvinck

Geelvinck ‘Goldfinch’ Hinlopen Huis

Albert Geelvinck was a wealthy Amsterdam merchant who had a mansion house built on Amsterdams canals in 1687. His ‘town palace’ consisted of a stately home on the Herengracht, a carriage house with entrance on the Keizersgracht, and a large garden connecting the two. For many years, the Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen House Foundation made this impressive ‘city palace’ accessible to the public. The yearly highpoint was always Amsterdam Open Garden Days, when almost two thousand people came to take a look at the fantastic formal gardens – at the time of creation, it was the largest private garden in Amsterdam. The Museum maintained its activities there until the end of 2016, with wonderful concerts and successful specialist exhibitions. At the beginning of 2017, the organisation and a portion of the collection moved to Zutphen, and the name Geelvinck or ‘Goldfinch’ came too. This also explains the little bird you will see popping up across our sites – the Geelvinck!

Musical focus

Since 2004, the museum gradually focused on music, with the collection of historical pianos, especially fortepianos, taking center stage. In 2008, we acquired the Sweelinck Collection (the country’s most important collection of playable fortepianos).

In 2015, the number of chamber concerts we organized grew to 120; not only in the Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, but also in other historical locations, often where we have placed fortepianos on loan.

In addition to the weekly chamber concerts in the Geelvinck Salon series, from 2010 the Geelvinck Early Piano Festival became the most important celebration of historic pianos in out calendar. The Geelvinck Early Piano Festival received the European quality label EFFE 2015-2016 and is a member of the Amsterdams Festival Overleg and the United Dutch Performing Arts Festivals, among others. A competition, master classes and a symposium are usually part of our annual festival, which is internationally renowned.

The museum has helped set up multiple musical foundations, including the Chopin Foundation Netherlands and a platform for musical instrument collections (Stichting Nederlands Muziek Museum).

Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen

The Geelvinck Music Museum in Zutphen (est.2017) was a continuation of the Geelvinck Hinlopen House Museum in Amsterdam. When it was on the Herengracht in Amsterdam, the 18th-century period rooms were the main attraction and the historic pianos from the Sweelinck Collection added a musical flourish. In Zutphen this was reversed: the emphasis was on the instruments, with the period rooms providing an atmosphere for this unique collection of historic pianos.

The Music Museum was forced to close its doors for the public on November 4th 2019. Already hindered by the unwilling attitude of the current Municipal Executive, Museum Geelvinck was unable to reach agreement on the intended continuation of its Music Museum in Zutphen.

However, the museum lives on in virtual form! To visit the museum and find out more, visit our website

Network Museum

With our HQ at Huize Kolthoorn, we now extend our Museum across locations the Netherlands and have plans to extend further in the future.

A large part of the playable collection is in the Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam, and this is part of a partnership with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Students of the Conservatorium are able to use the pianos in their daily practise, which is exactly how we will continue to keep the past playable!