Wondering where to go on your next trip? The tattoo museum is a unique location that ought to be on your shortlist.
The Lilly Likes Amsterdam team are in the habit of reviewing Amsterdam attractions, for the benefit of our readers. So, if you find yourself with time to kill and a vacation to Europe to plan – or even if all you want to do is dream of those canal-lined-streets – then head to our homepage and browse our blogs. If you’ve been following along, on the other hand, then let’s get to covering that Electric Lady Land location.
What the Hell is Electric Lady Land?
Let’s start with the obvious… what on earth even is this place?
Electric Lady Land is a fluorescent art and mineral exhibition space, right in the heart of Amsterdam. Advertised as the first (and only) museum of its kind in all the world, Electric Lady Land make their living from recording and exhibiting all things glowing.
They house a giant event space which has been entirely devoted to fluorescent objects. If it glows in the daylight, you can find it here. They have put together a collection that goes all the way back to 1932, when the bright pigments needed to create these works of art were in their infancy.
We listed some of the things you can expect to see in a museum of florescence because why would you know what to expect when there is only one in the entire world? Hopefully this should help get rid of some of that new-place-anxiety.
Glowing Good Art
Primarily, the museum started life as a place for artists who worked in any fluorescent mediums. It didn’t take long for it to get a little out of control and start expanding to all things glowing. However, that first homage to art is still where the heart of Electric Lady Land lies.
This museum is a little different in that – yes, there are glowing paintings on the wall – but you are entering the art space to walk around and interact with it. In essence, you become part of the artwork, museum, and attraction.
The Fluorescence of Crystals
You might be surprised to know that there is a mineral-related museum in Amsterdam. Though it’s not technically a crystal museum, the minerals are included because some minerals (like Calcite) can go fluorescent under a UV light.
If you have a mineral or crystal collection at home, it might be a good way to entertain the kiddies if you have a black light. Point it over your crystals and see if they glow. If you don’t have a crystal collection, what are you even doing with your life? You can start one here.
Crystals can glow all sorts of colours. Some go bright purple, pink, blue, neon green – you name it. It’s pretty cool to see. It’s even cooler that the folks at Electric Ladyland have put them all in one place for us to enjoy.
The Guided Tour
There are tours of the museum which culminate in some awesome displays. Experts talk you through mineral-based-artworks, where gems have been crushed into the actual paint of the pieces. This allows them to glow under certain wavelengths of light – making some thoroughly interesting paintings. You don’t need to be an artist to appreciate how impressive the thought process behind this, is.
A Little Electric History
Electric Lady Land first opened as the “Electric Lady” art gallery in April of 1987. Since then, it has accompanied the culture of Amsterdam, encouraging some of the young artists who have created the pieces you see on the walls of your average Amsterdam coffeeshop. As of april 1999, the entire upstairs of the art gallery was converted into this museum devoted to art and the manipulation of light spectrums.
Even those mildly interested in the scientific nature of the paints they use, can benefit from a trip around this place… and your average Joe stoner will spend hours in it. Just be careful you don’t puke.
Even later, after they had been open for a while, the museum staff realised they were missing a trick. They split it in half, making one half of the museum the place you go to for ‘participatory art’, and the other half the ‘display’ half of the museum. This is a neat trick when you are working with artwork that everyone wants to touch. If you can’t keep them from touching, let touching be a thing that you are supposed to do.
As such, there are display cabinets you can wander around in one end, then on the other end is a vibrantly coloured area where you can engage with the artwork. The participatory area is a fluorescent environment that kiddies adore playing in… and that adults can’t resist!
Where and When?
The Electric Lady Land is open from Wednesday to Saturday, and from 2-6pm. At the moment it is operational by appointment only (Covid virus) but that doesn’t mean you can’t go and get a fairly exclusive guided tour. You basically have the place to yourself.
You can get there by taking the 13, 14, 17 or 20, trams from Central Station and it is nearby the Anne Frank House… which we also wrote about in an earlier blog post. Children under 12 go free and tickets are a pittance, plus it gets you into the art gallery downstairs.
Does Lilly Like It?
As usual, we turn to Lilly for the final say on any and all attractions. To Electric Ladyland, she gave a stiff nod and got back to her whisky. We’re going to assume that’s approval and get back to the coffee shops… but you should definitely check out Electric Lady Land for your next Amsterdam break. Try not to go with a headache and take some water with you. It can get bright in there but we’re ot complaining.