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9 August 2017

Picturesque maintenance in Kinderdijk: attention all Dutch Masters

There is painting, and then there is windmill painting: anyone interested in feeling like a Dutch Master for a day should really drop by in Kinderdijk over the next few weeks, because we are going all out during the scheduled maintenance painting activities at Nederwaard Museum Mill.

Responsible steps into the future

In previous newsflashes, we talked about taking the time to get some serious maintenance done on our windmills this summer. We do this to show that we want to lift our World Heritage into the future in a responsible way. We also want to show our visitors what happens with the revenues from our ticket sales, because we are grateful to all our guests for their contributions to keeping Kinderdijk history alive. Windmill maintenance is an important part of a miller’s life, so we want to give everyone a glance of this equally specialist and necessary piece of craftsmanship. This summer, the Nederwaard Museum MIll is up for a firm splash of paint. A typical summer’s chore, but this job is important enough to entrust to a professional windmill painter. That’s why we use this opportunity to launch a fun and educational painting theme to match these special activities, adding a little extra to your experience of the classic Dutch windmill countryside.

“Anyone who thinks windmill maintenance is dull should pop by this summer and get stuck in!”

The second half of August will be picture perfect

From Monday August 14 to Friday September 1, our old faithful Museum Windmill is set to receive a fresh paintjob. In two weeks’ time, professional painters will be giving this prime windmill a brand new coat of paint that should last us at least six years. If you keep in mind that this mill was built in the seventeenth century, you’ll see that quite a few gallons of paint have been splashed onto this old giant so far! Now, obviously, you can’t paint a windmill while the sails are turning, so on weekdays, the Nederwaard is going to be standing still for a bit. Nonetheless, it stays open to the public as always. A fine opportunity to come and immerse yourself in our painter’s theme, because this special kind of maintenance has been part and parcel of the Kinderdijk story for centuries. Besides: how often do you get the chance to see a real windmill painter at work?

A great challenge for creative visitors

We’ve come up with a fitting new activity that will help keep the museum windmill as interesting and enjoyable during maintenance as it always is; perhaps even more so, especially if you don’t mind a splash of paint! The Nederwaard mill yard will be surrounded by a larger than life painting canvas, inviting all guests to have a go for themselves. We have the paint and brushes waiting for you; all we need is a few aspiring Dutch Masters! Feel free to tag along when you visit, because we plan to make a giant painting that includes your contributions to a new masterpiece. Just like the great artists from the Golden Age, you can let your creativity run wild set against the inspirational backdrop of the best Dutch landscape you can imagine. We have all the materials, but for this special occasion, our Museum Shop has painter’s packages in store for anyone who discovers a new talent along the way. Grab your chance, grab a brush, and go all out on our giant canvas this summer!

Painting windmills with a brush

Painting windmills with a brush

More info

Bring your creativity and use your imagination. Immortalize us!

Come see how it's done

As we plan to give an equally fun and educational twist to the maintenance activities, we will be running a small exhibition to match the occasion. We have selected a series of special photos from our archives that fit the maintenance activities. We also show how painters used to go about tackling a windmill. On the premises of the Museum Mill, we will set up a replica of a ‘shore beam’: these are the long beams you see running down the backs of our mills, down to the tail beam. Painters used these beams to their advantage by fixing a ‘saddle’ to the beams to sit on while they slid up and down to paint the whole length of the beams. A clever trick, but also fun to do for yourself, as you can come and experience this August. Hoist yourself up and slide back down like a real windmill painter – your next home makeover may never be the same again..

Catch some thatch

Once the painters are done, it is time for the crowning glory of our Museum Mill’s maintenance. Starting Monday September 4, the thatchers are coming by to fit the mill with a new thatch roof. We plan to spend all month on this chore, but be sure to keep track of our site, because we are already thinking hard about fitting ways to liven up the work with new thatch-related activities. All in all, there are plenty of reasons to come over and have a look this summer!

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