From Versace to Lego: 10 great things to do in January

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Self-portrait, 1643, oil on canvas. Private collection
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Self-portrait, 1643, oil on canvas. Private collection

There are some great exhibitions on in January to get all you culture vultures off to a good start in 2023.

See Rembrandt in a red beret
No, it’s not, yes, it is: expert opinion has now declared Man in a red beret to be a self portrait by Rembrandt. In its long history it has travelled the world, from august walls to – presumably – a drafty lockup when it was stolen. Originally in the possession of the Dutch royals, the painting has come full circle and has been restored to its original home at the Paleis aan de Lange Voorhout in The Hague, now the Escher in het Paleis museum. Until January 29. Website

Find romance in the Stedelijk
If you want to make sure your future partner is not a clot who doesn’t know his backside from his Bourgeois, then here’s your chance to suss them out before you  commit. Museums have often been the backdrop to romantic meetings (Vertigo, practically all Merchant Ivory films) and now the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam joins the fray. It is offering a tour in which you impress or possibly piss off a potential partner with clever questions about art. Website

Or go naked in Rotterdam
The Kunsthal in Rotterdam had better pay their energy bill because it is time for another naked tour, where people take their clothes off to enjoy art. This time it’s the turn of fashion (!) photographer’s Tim Walker’s Wonderful Things which includes shoots featuring Tilda Swinton, Grace Jones and Grayson Perry. Where to put that mobile, though. January 14. Website

Vittoriano Rastelli, Gianni Versace and his models, Milan, 1 March 1991 ©Vittoriano Rastelli/ Corbis Historical/ Getty Images

View Versace
It’s 25 years since Italian designer Gianni Versace was gunned down in front of his home in Miami. The Groninger museum is extending its exhibition on his work, with contributions from frock owners around the world as well as original drawings, interior designs and footage of his shows. The exhibition sets out to trace the influences on the magpie designer’s work, from art to bondage. Gianni Versace Retrospective is on until May 7. Website

Meet the Trawler
The John Adams Institute is organising an evening with Bret Easton Ellis. Ellis will be talking about his latest book The Shards, about the time when he and his high school friends were targeted by a serial killer called The Trawler and how this affected him. January 30. Website

Wish you were an Amsterdammer
The Archief in Amsterdam is opening up its treasure chest to lovingly present Al die Amsterdamse mensen.. (a quote from the ode to Amsterdam Aan de Amsterdams grachten), the people of Amsterdam who saw their city change between 1935 and 1975.

The work of 29 photographers, Ed van der Elsken, Eva Besnyö, Cor Jaring and Maria Austria among them, document Amsterdammers working, partying and playing in the streets. Perhaps the greatest shift in the city scape are the neighbourhoods that sprung up after the war and which slowly became part of the urban fabric. Until February 12. Website

Let go at the Lego show
The Museum of the 20th century in the picturesque harbour of Hoorn is honouring Ole Kirk Christiansen who 90 years ago started a business he called Lego, appropriately fitting together the first letters of leg and godt, meaning play well. It took him another 25 years to come up with the building blocks that were to make him famous but once he did it was full steam ahead. The exhibition takes you through the history of Lego and its enduring appeal. Until October 29. Website

Change perspective
How dare you make me feel this way? at the Arnhem Museum explores what the world looks like from a trans and queer perspective and how they choose to navigate and put their stamp on that world. Videos, photographs and installations are by Leo Xander Foo and Risk Hazekamp and international artiststs Yinzk, Samantha Nye and Golden Dean. Until May 14. Website

By the way, the museum also hosts Rembrandt’s Flagbearer (from January 3) which is on a tour so all can see what they paid for.

Don’t miss
The Leiden English theatre’s Seagull featured in last month’s round-up has been a resounding success and that is why the Badhuistheater in Amsterdam is staging two encores on January 20 and 21. Website

Even if you’re not of a religious bent, it’s a spectacular nativity scene at the Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, and great fun for kids and adults alike. You can drop in for free to admire it until January 8. Website

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