Archive for May 23rd, 2013


Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

May 23, 2013

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has reopened its doors to the public after a 10 year closure for rebuilding. It’s most famous exhibit is “Nachten Watchen”  or “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt. The first youtube short clip (below) Onze helden zijn terug! celebrates the rejuvenation of The Museum.

However a second short clip (at the bottom) follows the making of Onze helden zijn terug! which not only rejoices that The Rijksmuseum has reopened:  but it serves as a reminder to economists about the importance of specialization, the division of labor and clusters of support services in a modern economy.Try to consider how many different specialists are involved in this project and why the division of labor is important.

The project team wanted to make an impact, inform the Dutch and the rest of the world that the Museum was reopen for business – with implications for invisible and visible exports for The Netherlands. The advert should stimulate curiosity, and demand for tickets. Next time you are in a museum and art gallery, remember the principles of complementary goods and services which have derived demand – t shirts, coasters, mugs, guidebooks, DVDs – inspired by the great paintings on display. The museum may also have a monopoly over the supply or use of images, which may allow it to charge premium prices for guidebooks and other souvenirs.  It also highlights the significance of the use of economic resources, land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship: the roles of government and private enterprise in a mixed economy, culture as a merit good, and source of economic activity.

Of course, many of us have gotten used to viewing “flash mobs” on the internet but this one has a twist and certainly provides some educational value. So many learning lessons! Perhaps you’d like to share this with your students?! Even though they are speaking Dutch in the second one some meaning is possible. And, maybe you have a language, history and/or economic program in your school that you could connect with to provide a more meaningful lesson.

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