Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review

During my last trip to Amsterdam, I wanted to visit some more "off the beaten track" museums having visited the more tourist-dominated ones during my previous trips. After a search through Google, I stumbled across a recommendation for 'Electric Ladyland - the First Museum of Fluorescent Art' (yep - it is named after the Jimi Hendrix album), and without a second thought it jumped to the top of my 'to see' list during my time in Amsterdam. Whilst I was studying illustration at college and university, I specialised in psychedelic and fluorescent artwork, so finding out there was a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to it was the best news!

We navigated our way to the museum fairly easy, as it's only a short distance (5 minutes walk or so) from the Anne Frank House (which I have still not yet visited, despite how often I frequent Amsterdam), but when we arrived at around 2pm on a Saturday we found the museum was closed. However, there was a notice on the door that stated the museum was by appointment only and that you could book an appointment online. It actually does state this on the homepage of their website too, but I somehow managed to overlook this. It didn't put us off at all, so I booked an appointment from my phone for the last tour of the day at 5pm and we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around beautiful Jordaan in the sunshine.

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review

I arrived back at the museum around 4:45pm like the keen bean that I am, but this time I was solo. James wasn't as enthusiastic about visiting the museum as I was, so I decided to go alone and meet up with him a little later on. Upon arriving, I was greeted by a kind lady who explained the previous tour was still going on but I was more than welcome to wait upstairs in the store space, which was filled to the brim with vibrant and colourful pieces of artwork. She mentioned that photos were not allowed of the artwork in this particular space, which I respectfully adhered to, despite my overwhelming urge to want to photograph everything because it was just so mesmerising! She explained that I would have to swap my shoes for some foam slipper socks that they provide because the artwork within the museum is participatory meaning you can actually walk on top of the artwork installation. 

As the final people from the previous tour left the museum, I paid my entry fee and was invited down into the basement of the building where the museum was. As with most staircases in central Amsterdam, it's incredibly steep and not accessible at all unless you're able-bodied. In fact, it's so steep that I would describe it as more of a ladder than a staircase, so this is something to bear in mind before booking your appointment. Due to me being incredibly punctual, I was the first person to enter the museum and meet the artist and curator, Nick Padalino. Whilst the museum alone is absolutely magical, Nick absolutely makes the experience of the museum so much more. He's one of the most interesting and passionate people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and his knowledge about fluorescent art and minerals is impeccable. It was so utterly refreshing to meet someone with an incredibly open and creative mindset who spoke passionately about every inch of his museum. 

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
This could have been a little embarassing if I wasn't wearing a slip dress underneath

The first thing you notice as you step down into the museum is the outstanding, vibrant installation piece that beams vibrantly underneath the UV light and resembles some sort of psychedelic cave formation. Layers upon layers of fluorescent paint have been built up on top of the plaster formation used to create the participatory piece and you can truly see just how many years of graft have gone into creating the awe-inspiring piece of art. The fact you have to clamber down the 'staircase' in an almost 'down the rabbit hole' manner to reach the trippy, multi-coloured, fluro den makes the visit more of a psychedelic and unusual experience. The pièce de résistance, the interactive installation, is so much more than what first meets the eye. As you walk around the creation, you'll notice there are multiple hidden crevices and caves to explore and peer into. You begin to notice a lot of Indian influences within the work, including a teeny Taj Mahal nestled within the installation. After speaking to Nick, I learned a little more about his time in India and it's clear that his time in the East has formed some of his work.

Our tour of the museum started with around twenty people or so, shoulder-to-shoulder in the basement whilst Nick patiently guided us through every corner of his museum. If you're claustrophobic at all, then this museum probably isn't for you. In fact, it was probably for the best that James didn't accompany me back to the museum because I'm not sure if he would have actually fit considering he's ridiculously tall.

Throughout the hour we were left to explore all the different corners of the museums including the vivid, fluorescent 60s & 70s music posters that lined the walls and the ceilings, small yet intricate painted sculptures, books that retold the history and beginnings of fluorescent art (it started much earlier than you would originally think) and the most surreal display of them all: the natural minerals. The natural minerals that Nick has collected from all over the globe are pale and ghostly beneath a natural light; you would honestly not glance twice at them. However, as soon as Nick displayed them to us beneath a black light, the rocks and mineral came alive with colour and light. There's something almost alien about these minerals, but believe or not, these are their natural states on this Earth.

The entire tour takes around an hour or so, although I spent a little bit longer there and made the most of the museum being empty after everyone else had left. I was actually the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. The hour does give you a sufficient amount of time to explore all of the displays and Nick is a thorough and informative guide. 

As far as I'm aware the museum is currently closed for renovation, so I'm glad I managed to visit before it closed. In all my time spent in Amsterdam, Electric Ladyland is one of the best and most unusual places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. If you're heading to Amsterdam any time after they re-open, I really recommend you book an appointment and see something a little different from the usual tourist spots.

Entry: €5
Address: Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5 Hs., 1015 TB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Book appointments: electricladyland.appointy.com

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Natural minerals under a black light
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
The humble museum front


BLOGLOVIN' | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review

During my last trip to Amsterdam, I wanted to visit some more "off the beaten track" museums having visited the more tourist-dominated ones during my previous trips. After a search through Google, I stumbled across a recommendation for 'Electric Ladyland - the First Museum of Fluorescent Art' (yep - it is named after the Jimi Hendrix album), and without a second thought it jumped to the top of my 'to see' list during my time in Amsterdam. Whilst I was studying illustration at college and university, I specialised in psychedelic and fluorescent artwork, so finding out there was a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to it was the best news!

We navigated our way to the museum fairly easy, as it's only a short distance (5 minutes walk or so) from the Anne Frank House (which I have still not yet visited, despite how often I frequent Amsterdam), but when we arrived at around 2pm on a Saturday we found the museum was closed. However, there was a notice on the door that stated the museum was by appointment only and that you could book an appointment online. It actually does state this on the homepage of their website too, but I somehow managed to overlook this. It didn't put us off at all, so I booked an appointment from my phone for the last tour of the day at 5pm and we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around beautiful Jordaan in the sunshine.

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review

I arrived back at the museum around 4:45pm like the keen bean that I am, but this time I was solo. James wasn't as enthusiastic about visiting the museum as I was, so I decided to go alone and meet up with him a little later on. Upon arriving, I was greeted by a kind lady who explained the previous tour was still going on but I was more than welcome to wait upstairs in the store space, which was filled to the brim with vibrant and colourful pieces of artwork. She mentioned that photos were not allowed of the artwork in this particular space, which I respectfully adhered to, despite my overwhelming urge to want to photograph everything because it was just so mesmerising! She explained that I would have to swap my shoes for some foam slipper socks that they provide because the artwork within the museum is participatory meaning you can actually walk on top of the artwork installation. 

As the final people from the previous tour left the museum, I paid my entry fee and was invited down into the basement of the building where the museum was. As with most staircases in central Amsterdam, it's incredibly steep and not accessible at all unless you're able-bodied. In fact, it's so steep that I would describe it as more of a ladder than a staircase, so this is something to bear in mind before booking your appointment. Due to me being incredibly punctual, I was the first person to enter the museum and meet the artist and curator, Nick Padalino. Whilst the museum alone is absolutely magical, Nick absolutely makes the experience of the museum so much more. He's one of the most interesting and passionate people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and his knowledge about fluorescent art and minerals is impeccable. It was so utterly refreshing to meet someone with an incredibly open and creative mindset who spoke passionately about every inch of his museum. 

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
This could have been a little embarassing if I wasn't wearing a slip dress underneath

The first thing you notice as you step down into the museum is the outstanding, vibrant installation piece that beams vibrantly underneath the UV light and resembles some sort of psychedelic cave formation. Layers upon layers of fluorescent paint have been built up on top of the plaster formation used to create the participatory piece and you can truly see just how many years of graft have gone into creating the awe-inspiring piece of art. The fact you have to clamber down the 'staircase' in an almost 'down the rabbit hole' manner to reach the trippy, multi-coloured, fluro den makes the visit more of a psychedelic and unusual experience. The pièce de résistance, the interactive installation, is so much more than what first meets the eye. As you walk around the creation, you'll notice there are multiple hidden crevices and caves to explore and peer into. You begin to notice a lot of Indian influences within the work, including a teeny Taj Mahal nestled within the installation. After speaking to Nick, I learned a little more about his time in India and it's clear that his time in the East has formed some of his work.

Our tour of the museum started with around twenty people or so, shoulder-to-shoulder in the basement whilst Nick patiently guided us through every corner of his museum. If you're claustrophobic at all, then this museum probably isn't for you. In fact, it was probably for the best that James didn't accompany me back to the museum because I'm not sure if he would have actually fit considering he's ridiculously tall.

Throughout the hour we were left to explore all the different corners of the museums including the vivid, fluorescent 60s & 70s music posters that lined the walls and the ceilings, small yet intricate painted sculptures, books that retold the history and beginnings of fluorescent art (it started much earlier than you would originally think) and the most surreal display of them all: the natural minerals. The natural minerals that Nick has collected from all over the globe are pale and ghostly beneath a natural light; you would honestly not glance twice at them. However, as soon as Nick displayed them to us beneath a black light, the rocks and mineral came alive with colour and light. There's something almost alien about these minerals, but believe or not, these are their natural states on this Earth.

The entire tour takes around an hour or so, although I spent a little bit longer there and made the most of the museum being empty after everyone else had left. I was actually the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. The hour does give you a sufficient amount of time to explore all of the displays and Nick is a thorough and informative guide. 

As far as I'm aware the museum is currently closed for renovation, so I'm glad I managed to visit before it closed. In all my time spent in Amsterdam, Electric Ladyland is one of the best and most unusual places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. If you're heading to Amsterdam any time after they re-open, I really recommend you book an appointment and see something a little different from the usual tourist spots.

Entry: €5
Address: Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5 Hs., 1015 TB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Book appointments: electricladyland.appointy.com

Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
Natural minerals under a black light
Electric Ladyland, Museum of Fluorescent Art, Amsterdam Review
The humble museum front


BLOGLOVIN' | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

6 comments

  1. Whoa, such an intriguing museum. I'd enjoy going to a place like this. It's nice to see someone exploring other sights in Amsterdam. x

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks so interesting to visit and a very reasonable price too. Definitely a good job you had a slip under your dress haha

    ReplyDelete
  3. This place looks awesome and totally different from the usual Amsterdam experience.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This place looks absolutely amazing! I've never been to Amsterdam but I have to put this museum on my to-do list when I finally visit x

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fab find in Amsterdam. The art work looks amazing, and well worth a visit. The more I see of the city, the more I want to go. I haven't been since I was a child.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an unusual museum - it looks amazing. I have never been to Amsterdam. Kaz

    ReplyDelete

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