The Museum of the Spirit in Haarlem has won the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award. The award was presented on Saturday evening in the city of Tartu, Estonia. The museum receives the prize because it “explores the nature of the human mind in a uniquely innovative way”, according to the jury report.
The Museum of the Spirit tries to give visitors an interactive insight into the workings of their own mind. It also wants to create understanding for people with mental illnesses. The museum is located in the Dolhuys in Haarlem, a former asylum, and combines art with a historical collection spanning seven hundred years of healthcare history.
The jury report is full of praise for the combination of history and personal stories. It touts the museum as an “innovative social project” and “a truly inspiring people-oriented institution”.
The European Museum Forum annually awards the prize to a museum that contributes to a better understanding of the world, is innovative and that sets museum standards. This year sixty museums competed for the six different prizes, the most important of which is the European Museum of the Year Award. In 2021, the Naturalis Museum in Leiden won the prize.