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The 10-Millionth Visitor to the Rijksmuseum Spends the Night Sleeping Under Rembrandt

This story is a few years old but it charmed me too much this morning to let it slide. In 2017, four years after its grand reopening, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum welcomed its 10-millionth visitor, a man named Stefan Kasper. His lucky timing resulted in getting to spend the night in the museum, where he dined and slept underneath Rembrandt’s the Night Watch.

Sleep Rijksmuseum

Here’s a short video of Kasper’s time in the museum:

I still can’t believe it. I discovered characters that I have never seen before. They came to life in front of me. It’s an experience that is forever etched in my memory.

Not the same, but I got to go to a press preview when the MoMA reopened a few years ago after renovations and it was quite an experience to wander those familiar galleries pretty much by myself. I stood in front of Starry Night and One: Number 31, 1950 for a really long time that morning.

Discussion  7 comments

Greg Knauss
Paolo Palombo


Dave Sandell

You got to stand in front of Starry Night for a really long time pretty much by yourself?!? My head is exploding and I'm filled with awe, wonder and jealousy.

In the spirit of making this factual and constructive, I'll add that this reminds me of two experiences I've had at the Art Institute in Chicago. One was during the opening of the modern wing at the AI where I won tickets to see Andrew Bird perform a solo show in the atrium with about 50 of us sitting on the ground around his feet (and pedals and loop machines), and we also got to roam the modern wing more or less by ourselves for hours. The other was also a concert, this one Pitchfork's Midwinter Fest back in 2019. It was an odd little music festival where musicians performed little pop up shows among the exhibits, and then there were additional ticketed concerts happening throughout the evening. Several exhibits were cordoned off, and I don't know if someone removed a barrier or if I missed something saying it was closed, but I found myself suddenly deep in a maze of Medieval and Renaissance art and no one was around, including security. I came across a piece that actually literally took my breath away and sat on a bench looking at it for close to a half hour before a roaming guard told me I wasn't supposed to be back there. I'll forever cherish that night.

Russell Briggs

I hate being the cynic in these nice stories, but if my Museum is any indication, the whole idea of knowing exactly who the 10,000,000th visitor ludicrous. Doesn't matter if you are using the best visitor tracking system in the world, it's impossible to get that granular with your data. I can almost guarantee they were looking at the people coming in that day, had the cameras ready, had the politicians and executives in place and picked the person they wanted right at the time when everyone was available. Still amazing that they got so many people in such a short time - that kind of achievement should not be given short shrift.

We do a "Dinosnore" for kids and their families to spend the night in the Australian Museum. It always sells out instantly and is great fun for everyone.

Jeffrey Shrader

One of my favorite art experiences happened at the MoMA right after renovation. Tired from a long visit to the museum, I sat on a bench in front of Max Beckmann's Departure. The imagery in the left two panels seemed clear enough: a fish-based dungeon on the left and an Obi-Wan Kenobi Jesus in the middle. But the right panel mystified me. As I looked at it longer, I fell into a sort of sleep, and the meaning came to me in a dream. It is the figure in the foreground's birthday. They arrive home with a birthday cake, only to find that their friend -- the figure in white holding the lamp -- has accidentally killed the figure in yellow. They need to sneak the body past the security guard (the background figure in blue). At first, foreground guy tries to hide the body in the birthday cake box, but discovers that it won't fit, so the figure in white decides to tie the victim onto their body with bed sheets. Both people then walk out of the building, with the foreground guy banging on the birthday cake box to distract the guard. The painting, of course, depicts the moment of maximum tension. Will they be able to successfully sneak past the guard? Should they be able to?

Vena M

All I can think about is what kind of MONSTER can sleep in the middle of a room like that??? what about the zombies that are definitely behind you??


Haha same. Especially in such a tiny bed

This thread is closed for new comments & replies. Thanks to everyone for participating!