In the second phase from 2018, the collections came back into focus. To this end, the Twentelab was established with a brand-new collection centre with climatized depots, photo studio, the largest restoration studio in the eastern region of the Netherlands and workplaces for dozens of voluntary collection workers. Work also started on establishing a knowledge centre with a large library; state-of-the-art digitisation equipment and a digital museum for the entire region under the name ‘Atlas of Once’. With the support of the municipality of Enschede, the museum also purchased its own museum building in 2020.
But somehow the monster still didn’t quite know who he was.
Was it the museum of the coherence of things? The museum of how and why? Or simply the museum of all and anything? The answer to that question was found by rethinking its relationship with the other major museum of Enschede. Both museums share their public mission:
Of all the qualities we possess, imagination is the most human. It is the imagination that tells us stories, creates a past, shapes values, grants works of art and offers grip. At a time when everything is changing at lightning speed and old certainties are faltering, the imagination is, more than ever, of great importance. The Museumfabriek and Rijksmuseum Twenthe study, present and fosters the human imagination. For it is the imagination with which we give shape and create meaning in our world.
The creative forces behind our imagination are art and science. If Rijksmuseum Twenthe is the art museum of the eastern Netherlands, can The Museum Factory be the science museum of the east? Art and science, each with its own museum in Enschede.
The Museum Factory is the museum of wondrous science!
It can be as a simple as that.
Arnoud Odding was director of The Museum Factory from June 2016 to December 2022.