The exhibition goes more deeply into the economic significance of silver made in Maastricht by concentrating on the period in which it was produced as well as the present. In doing so, two related themes are entered upon: the use of silver in the 18th century and the objects’ economic significance in a historical context. In addition, the debate about what constitutes good design is not passed either. After all it is the combination of traditional methods or sustainable production and good design that conserves objects and makes them keep their value. This course is continued from the 18th century to the present.
The exhibition’s glorious focal point is a long and generously set table. Furthermore, many beautiful pieces are grouped along themes such as “impressing & investing’, ‘trends & serial production’ and ‘producers & consumers’. Museum aan het Vrijthof can draw from its own collection as this is concentrated on the age of Louis XVI, but the museum may also appeal to dozens of pieces of private property. Combined, these pieces of art give the visitor a clear picture of silver made in Maastricht in the 18th century. It is the first time since 1978 that a collection of silver made in Maastricht of this size is opened up to the public. The research results from 1978 were the starting points for the art-historical study that has been carried out by Stichting Kerckhoffs Kunstnijverheid Fonds since then. The exhibition as well as the simultaneously printed publication/catalogue is the result of a public/private cooperation that fits into the cultural entrepreneurship. Enterprise is at the basis of Museum aan het Vrijthof and it is defining for future developments.