The Art of Giving

Dutch Museum Gift Shop is a webshop where you can buy unique museum merchandise. The products are often in limited edition available and specially developed for an exhibition. The aim of DMGS is to promote and sell museum products in order to support cultural heritage and provide museums with an independent source of income. Leading museums like the Rijksmuseum, Maritime Museum and Naturalis are participating.

The start

The founder of DMGS is Jitske Naberman.

In 2019 I worked as an interim webshop coordinator for the Rijksmuseum. There I discovered that many museums sell very nice, educational and unique products but do not have their own webshop. And that’s a shame because it means they miss out on opportunities to sell items. For this reason I started www.dutchmuseumgiftshop.nl. At the beginning of 2020 my business plan was ready. I started approaching museums. Then the corona crisis broke out and most museums were closed, as were their museum shop and webshop. The Eye Film Museum did the opposite. The corona crisis saw this as an opportunity to open a webshop. They were the first to participate in DMGS. After the Eye Film Museum, the Rijksmuseum, Tropenmuseum and the Kunsthal followed. 17 museums are now participating.

My interest in art started when I was young. My parents were both art teachers. My father at the Ubbo Emmius teacher training course and my mother at the PABO. One of the books on DMGS is by Sam Drukker ‚Man in the Mirror‘. My father recently told me that he had taught Sam Drukker, who has had an exhibition at the Drents Museum, at Ubbo Emmius and he was one of his best students.

I’ve been drawing since I can remember and after high school I went to the Art Academy. I then went on to study Cultural Anthropology and did research in Senegal and graduated on a study of the Mapuche Indians in Chile.

After my studies I started working as a CRM manager, online marketing and e-commerce manager at companies such as Sandwich Fashion, Crocs, HEMA, Philips, Technische Unie and Getronics. My studies were, without being commercial or marketing orientated, very useful. Doing target group analysis, in order to subsequently determine your strategy, is also of great importance online. In addition, I started in 2010 to focus on building websites.


Who is DMGS?

All over the world we give each other gifts! At a birthday party, a wedding, a funeral or as an offering. But what is the secret of a good gift? In Japan, a lot of attention is paid to gift wrapping. The more layers, the better. The exhibition ‚Gift Hoezo‘ in the Tropenmuseum, for example, shows a huge, „Instagrammable“ installation of furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) that you can step into, so that you become the gift yourself! The story of DMGS is that we want to give gifts with a message. Love = give = support.

Curating the articles is an important part of Dutch Museum Gift Shop. The Retail managers do this by offering a selection of products online, but also within DMGS to see which articles need which attention and when. This way you can find a gift for everyone.


For example, are you looking for something for a real foodie? We make a selection of the nicest and most original must-haves for on the table or in the kitchen. A selection from the collection:

  • Take a tray. Serving a dish starts with how you present it! The Overlook Hotel tray is inspired by the Overlook Hotel carpet in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining,
  • Cooking is art! The RIJKS® Restaurant is a must-have eatery in Amsterdam. Reason enough for the Rijksmuseum to publish this cookbook. This is not just a recipe book, but an inventory of 50 typical Dutch ingredients ranging from asparagus to wild boar.
  • A design cup: Together with MVRDV, the architects of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Depot x MVRDV has made a silver cup.
  • Another great book is the best recipe book for movie and cocktail lovers. Cocktails of the Movies celebrates the greatest movie heroes and their iconic cocktails through original illustrations and 65 easy recipes.
  • Jan Sluijters was a Dutch painter and draftsman. Sluijters painted in all styles, but always figuratively. He painted many prominent compatriots on commission and became a community painter.
  • The wedding portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are the largest by the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn and can be seen in the Rijksmuseum. Designer Sander Luske was inspired by the rich lace that Marten & Oopjen wear on the paintings.

DMGS sells many unique products

One of our best-selling articles is Irma Boom’s latest book. In this richly illustrated 1000-page mini-book, graphic designer Irma Boom once again explores and experiments the boundaries of book conventions and gives her vision on the essence of the printed book. An impressive and inspiring little masterpiece, published during the Irma Boom 2022 exhibition ‚Irma Boom. Book Manifest in the Allard Pierson. A limited, signed edition is available in the Dutch Museum Gift Shop & Allard Pierson Museum. The Allard Pierson Museum manages the design archive of Irma Boom (1960).

Another bestseller is the bag collection designed for the Depot by Susan Bijl. As a child, Bijl wanted as little stuff as possible and when cleaning up her room, she often threw away too much. At the age of 14 she moved to Rotterdam. After high school she went to the Willem de Kooning academy.

Susan Bijl designed a bag for Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen as an ode to the iconic art depot. The silver-grey bag made of recycled nylon, called: ‚The New Shopping Bag Mirror & Agaat‘ (2020), now also called the ‚depot bag‘, reflects the light just like the mirrors and the color of the actual building.

The shopping bag is an iconic Rotterdam design, the first version of which was designed in 2000. Since then, five different versions have been made, which eventually led to the bag, which is also available in silver. The five prototypes will soon be included in the museum’s collection and are a gift.

What beliefs are the foundation?

We believe in/we stand for sustainability, transparency and joint growth. We believe that art, culture and science form the foundations for our society and identity. We believe in the art of giving. Our products are generally:

  • Sustainable
  • Locally made
  • Unique / not available anywhere else
  • With a story

We are good at indicating the rationale behind an item that is sold through us. We are a shop for every art and culture loving (museum) visitor. Our platform also allows small museums to join us that would otherwise not be able to set up a profitable webshop, so that their articles are also available online.

Future

More and more museums are joining. Museums from Belgium and Germany are interested. In addition to the desire to go abroad, it is important to embark on new growth paths because this allows us to dream and inspire. Ultimately, we want to reach even more visitors and develop new initiatives, such as for example a museum pop-up store. We want to be able to take the next step in retail and boost the museum world (disruptive). With this we show both the museum world and the customer that we exist and that we are more than just part of a museum visit. (We hope they can find us on their own if they’re looking for a gift with a story.)

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