Drawing Rooms – Drawing as part of the teaching at TU Delft and its predecessors

14 March to 27 September 2020
Museum Paul Tétar van Elven

Latest information on visiting hours of Museum Paul Tétar van Elven

Drawing lessons link Museum and University
The exhibition Drawing Rooms exhibition makes the historical relationship between Museum Paul Tétar van Elven and Delft University of Technology visible. Besides being an artist, Tétar van Elven had a career as a drawing teacher at the Koninklijke Akademie (Royal Academy) and the Polytechnische School (Polytechnic School) that spanned 40 years. These historical ties between the museum and Delft University of Technology have led to a cooperative relationship in which Tétar van Elven’s teaching practice is linked to current teaching. Drawing as a method of teaching is the link here.

The role of drawing lessons – past and present
A part of the exhibition includes items from the historical collection of Delft University of Technology that relate to drawing lessons. Another part of the exhibition shows current teaching practice, with Architecture students using drawing as a medium for presentation and as a method for doing research. The permanent collection of Museum Paul Tétar van Elven gives visitors an overview of Paul Tétar van Elven’s oeuvre and an interesting glimpse of 19th-century domesticity.

Drawing Rooms – Exhibition opening
The opening of the exhibition Drawing Rooms on Friday 13 March has been cancelled due to the stricter measures taken by the Dutch government against the spread of the coronavirus.

This exhibition was enabled by the TU Delft Library, Museum Paul Tétar van Elven, the Municipality of Delft, the foundation Stichting voor Hulp aan Delftse Jongeren, WAM architecten, Fokkema & Partners.


University heritage
Paul Tétar van Elven was a drawing teacher at the Koninklijke Academie and its successor, the Polytechnische School, from 1854 to 1894. During his extended tenure he had a major influence on the teaching of drawing, and on the university heritage that resulted from this teaching. The heritage currently forms part of the Sluyterman collection, which is managed by the TU Delft Library. This link was the motivation for a collaboration with TU Delft, with the object of organising an exhibition in Museum Paul Tétar van Elven. This exhibition will highlight one of the many links between the city of Delft and the University, and can be viewed as a pilot project that may be continued in the coming years.

Involvement of students from the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Within the context of teaching at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, a group of local and international students are producing another share of the items to be exhibited. This exercise is a joint project by the ‘History’ and ‘Interiors, Buildings & Cities’ chairs.

The recent fall semester saw the start of a research project within the framework of a thesis working group led by Charlotte van Wijk entitled Drawing Rooms. The participants in this project use the Museum Paul Tétar van Elven as the point of departure for their research. The thesis research will also serve as the basis for a design in the corresponding design studio, the MSc2 Studio ‘Drawing Rooms’, led by Jurjen Zeinstra. These two courses will make a joint contribution to the exhibition in which the representation of interior architecture in drawings plays an important role.

Representation of interior architecture in drawings
The students’ research will have spaces and items from Museum Paul Tétar van Elven as their point of departure. Students take a room or part of a room’s interior as a point of departure for their thesis. They then research this by means of literature surveys and a series of analytical and documentation drawings, for example developed surface drawings. The historical research focuses on the development of this space, studying literature and images for similar spaces form the past (using paintings, for example) and for the 19th- and 20th-century transformations. The historical study may apply to a fixed part of these rooms (the hearth), or an architectural element such as stairs, door or window. The views of the curators regarding the arrangement of the museum are relevant here: why were particular decisions regarding the arrangement of Museum Paul Tétar van Elven taken.

A few weeks after the thesis workshop, the design studio was started. During this course, the research continues by means of drawing – the students experiment with different methods of documenting experience in the museum. The purpose of this and of the historical research is to properly prepare students for making a design for one of the exhibition rooms in the Museum Paul Tétar van Elven themselves. This will house an item from the heritage collection with its roots in drawing lessons in the past.

Combining the historical and the contemporary
This exhibition combines the historical and the contemporary by linking Tétar van Elven’s teaching practice with current teaching. Drawing as a method of teaching will be the link here. An introductory section, on the ground floor, will illustrate the evolution of drawing lessons at the Koninklijke Academie, the Polytechnische School and the immediate predecessor of TU Delft, the Technische Hogeschool Delft (Delft Institute of Technology). This section shows items from the Sluyterman collection that have played a role in the teaching of drawing. The design studio will yield a series of drawings by the students; these will be hung on the wall or exhibited flat on a tabletop on the first floor. A number of these drawings will be combined with special items from the Sluyterman collection.

Drawing Rooms Exhibition - a short introduction video in Dutch
Drawing Rooms - a video with more details about the exhibition
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