Art museum

Amsterdam Art Museum uses real bugs in new exhibit

Many science museums have exhibits dedicated to insects and arthropods. Many art museums display works of art in which insects play an important role. But so far, these two worlds have not really converged. Occasionally they’ll overlap, sometimes to surreal effect, like when Damien Hirst’s “A Thousand Years” — which incorporates live flies — drew the ire of PETA and was taken apart in an art museum in Germany.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has taken a slightly different approach to where insects and art meet. The museum is currently hosting an exhibition titled Crawling Creatureswhich explores artistic depictions of some of the world’s least beloved creatures.

Museums website note “highlights including the first drawing whose main subject was an insect, made in 1505 by Albrecht Dürer, and that of Peter Paul Rubens Medusa Head (1617-18).

But that’s not the only way bugs play a role in exposure. According an article by Daniel Boffey at The Observer, the museum asked its cleaning staff to leave the insects alone for the duration of the exhibition. In the past, a spider’s web could be swept away by the guardians; for now, however, the spiders – and other multi-legged creatures – will get some respite.

The moratorium on cleaning cobwebs began three months ago, at the request of one of the artists featured in the show, Tomás Saraceno. Crawling Creatures is scheduled to open on September 30 and will run until January 15 next year.