Museum Tot Zover highlights - in consultation with our partners and the public - the aesthetic, cultural and historical values of Dutch funerary heritage, with the aim of gaining further insight into how we deal with mortality.
How we deal with death tells us who we are, where we come from, how we think and what we believe. The awareness of mortality intensifies our lives, and gaining knowledge of traditions around death reinforces our empathy with other cultures and practices, even ones that are new or unorthodox.
Death is a topic that many people have questions about or want to share their experiences and thoughts. Many people also want to be challenged to think about the theme. This role fits Tot Zover perfectly and the museum is therefore much larger than just it's physical location. The museum is thus a (virtual) knowledge center, a meeting place, and a place where people learn about and reflect on death, mortality and life.
Museum Tot Zover has a unique profile, both in the Amsterdam's museum landscape and throughout the Netherlands.
- The museum is the only one in the Netherlands specialized in death, funeral practice and commemoration
- The museum has a striking location on the outskirts of the city. It is the only museum in the world that is located in a national heritage cemetery, De Nieuwe Ooster, also the Netherlands largest cemetery.
- The museum has a permanent collection of a cultural-historical nature which includes, among other things, old hair paintings, death masks, chests, urns, but also a collection of miniature carts and ingredients for a modern Muslim funeral such as lotus powder, camphor and musk.
- The museum makes stimulating exhibitions with social relevance and offers a stage to artists, designers and photographers. The museum dares to be limitless in terms of thematic choice, but always aims for content and relevance and never for sensationalism. because of this, the museum regularly receives attention in the press at home and abroad.
- Tot Zover is known as both a museum and a centre of knowledge about death and rituals, and reaches many people outside the museum. The Tot Zover web platform, renewed in 2017, gives primary school teachers access to an interactive classroom environment for use on IWB in the classroom:. The museum site itself contains information about rituals and objects from the collection, and will be supplemented continuously. This information is aimed at pupils, students and consequently a wider audience.
- The museum wants to establish links between the present and the past of the funeral culture. Scientists and other authors are invited to write a public article about their field of research, and these are regularly published on the website.
- An important feature of the knowledge center is the thesis database: a facility for making graduation theses available online for study programs within Dutch and Flemish higher education.Through activities of the Funeraire Academie, various meetings are organized annually to promote the exchange of knowledge between theory and practice.
- Museum Tot Zover is a private museum, financed by the private sector and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (Municipality of Amsterdam).
- Museum Tot Zover is a registered museum and a member of the Museum Association.