The Cat Cabinet (Katten Kabinet) is a museum in Amsterdam which houses a unique art collection based around the theme of cats.
It is located in a grand house on the Herengracht canal in Amsterdam.
The houses at numbers 497 and 499 Herengracht date back to 1667 and were originally built for the van Loon brothers, part of a wealthy merchant family. The van Loons held the house at 497 until 1725 - since then it has seen a number of other notable occupants including former Amsterdam mayor Jan Calkoen; and pensionary Engelbert van Berckel, who was visited here by then US ambassador John Adams.
The house was purchased by the current owner Bob Meijer in 1985 and was subsequently restored. He still lives in the house along with 5 resident cats.
The Cat Cabinet was founded in 1990 to commemorate Meijer's red tom cat called John Piermont Morgan (named after the US banker) who lived between 1966 and 1983. It contains a wide selection of paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings and posters of cats - and includes works by, among others, Pablo Picasso, Sal Meijer, Rembrandt and Henri de Toulouse L'Autrec. A small section of the museum is devoted to Meijer's cat.
The museum is housed on the first floor in a number of rooms with original period furniture - including the ballroom which has a fine ceiling painting from 1670. Paintings and posters are also displayed on the staircase and corridor. Being a private collection, there is a quirky and intimate feel to the place. Details of the feline artworks are provided on laminated sheets left around the rooms.
It's something just a little bit different and well worth visiting for an hour - especially if you are a cat lover.
Cat Cabinet Essential Info
Opening Times: 1000-1700 (Mon-Fri), 1200-1700 (Sat/Sun).
Admission Prices (2016): Adults €7, FREE entry to children 0-11. Note, Museumkaart and Iamsterdam cards are NOT valid.
Getting There: The Cat Cabinet can be easily reached on foot - located on the "Golden Bend" of the Herengracht canal between Koningsplein (trams 1, 2 or 5) and Vijzelstraat (trams 4, 16 or 24).
Cat Cabinet, Herengracht 497, Amsterdam
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