Frits van Paasschen, director of the Hague newspaper Avondpost, thought of setting up a special school museum where teachers could take their class for a visit to the museum or to borrow ‘illustrational tools’. 'The Education Foundation’ (De Vereniging ten bate van het Onderwijs) was founded on 25 October 1904, and was followed by the opening of the ‘Museum for Education’ ('Museum ten bate van het Onderwijs') a few years later. With gifts and loans and the fast-growing demand from education, the museum continued to expand and was forced to relocate a number of times.
One of the very first lessons in the museum, 1909
Novel presentation technique: film. Around 1914
Expansion of the collection
The collection continued to grow. In 1926 26,000 objects had been registered, in 1968 48,000 and in 1984 75,000. The collection grew thanks to bequests, donations and purchases. After the Second World War the museum organised group travels during which museum staff would collect objects in faraway countries.
New: busses deliver school classes at the museum. Around 1928
As early as 1933 famous biologist Niko Tinbergen acquired a beautiful collection of Inuit (Eskimo) objects in Greenland for the museum. Another collection of national importance is the one containing many drawings, documents and objects that relate to the Japanese occupation of the Dutch Indies. This collection was first started in the second half of the nineteen seventies and is still growing.
Outside the previous building
In the early nineteen fifties, The Hague’s municipal council took the important decision to build a new museum, although it was to be another twenty-five years before this decision was carried out. Architect W.G. Quist was commissioned to build the new museum. It was completed in the spring of 1985, ready to start a new period in its long existence as Museon (a combination of museum and education and also derived from the Greek 'Mouseion' which means 'temple of the muses’).