Events

The Embassy of the Free Mind regularly organizes lectures, themed guided tours and concerts. View the upcoming activities here.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

20 December: Be a Nelson - Lecture by Ilco van der Linde
21 December: Lunch Concert


20 DECEMBER - Be a Nelson - Lecture by Ilco van der Linde

Ilco van der Linde (1963) is the founder of popular social initiatives such as the Bevrijdingspop, Dance4Life, MasterPeace and the Mandela Huisje. His message for the millions of people he reaches is short and simple: "Be a Nelson"; realize that the great Nelson Mandela was once also just a boy without money, applause or guaranteed success. Ilco is also the author of the book "Be a Nelson" (Lemniscaat Uitgeverij), in which his own life story is combined with that of 24 other change-makers.
The mission statement of the Embassy of the Free Mind is 'sharing wisdom - creating conscious action'. Ilco inspires you to turn your vision into action. He will examine the question of what that entails. How do you build a social movement nowadays?

Ilco van der Linde (Haarlem, 7 December 1963) is the initiator and organizer of various national and international campaigns and movements for various social causes. He started with Bevrijdingspop in Haarlem at the age of fifteen. From 1989 to 1995 he was the organizer of liberation festivals throughout the Netherlands on behalf of the National Committee 4 and 5 May. From 1995 to 2001 he also organized the National Liberation Concerto for the Royal Theater Carré on the Amstel in Amsterdam for the National Committee 4 and 5 May.

DATE: 20 December 2018
TIME: 7-9pm (doors open 6.30)
TICKETS: €12,50 | Students €10
LANGUAGE: English

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


21 DECEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On December 21st we will have: 

Joëlle Goercharn, lead vocals, piano
Loïse Campagna, double bass, vocals
Rachid Rejaibi, drums & percussion, vocals

This last lunch concert of 2018 will be something really special! Up to now we have offered a stage to classical musicians from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, but since there are other styles which would also sound great in our intimate ‘Grote Sael’, this time we will have singer-songwriter Joëlle Goercharn. Together with Loïse Campagna (double bass, vocals) and Rachid Rejaibi (drums & percussion, vocals) Joëlle will perform songs from her recently released debut album Silhouette.

After graduating from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Joëlle decided to go to New York to immerse herself in songwriting. Supported by a grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds she studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. After a year in New York she returned to Amsterdam with her suitcase full of beautiful songs, five of which feature on her recently released debut EP Silhouette.
Together with her eclectic band Joëlle presents an attractive blend of dreamy pop songs which echo her Indian roots. In her music she draws inspiration from life in New York and the stories of her Hindustani grandmother. Warm and mellow music for the dark and cold days of winter.

Listen to ‘Stained Glass’, a song in which Joëlle explores religion from her Hindustani and Catholic background. ‘This song is a message of hope,’ says Joëlle. ‘Sometimes it is better to just fall down and start over again, however fragile you are.’

Date: Friday 21 December
Time: 1.30 - 2.00pm
Tickets: € 10.00 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.

Upcoming concerts:

Fri January 18th 13.30h Miriam Ruf, harp
Fri Februari 15th 13.30 Baroque ensemble

Information may be subject to change.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


ARCHIVE

9 NOVEMBER Lecture by Peter Huijs- Jacob Boehme - A very bright morning star has arisen

Lecture on Jacob Böhme and the new Dutch translation based on the autograph of Morgenröthe im Aufgang (Aurora) by Peter Huijs

Jacob Böhme is an unsettling thinker who changes anyone who really reads him. He freely wrote about heaven and hell, the seven source spirits, angels and demons. He entered into dialogue with Lucifer himself and presented a challenge to academics, theologians and ministers. Above all, he wrote about man, that mysterious dual creature able to recognize all these things in himself – and much more, namely the entire godhead and the entire creation. You don’t even have to read a book to find this out for yourself. For, as Böhme put it, ‘You will not find a book that will enable you to explore divine wisdom better than a green and flourishing meadow. There you will see, smell and taste the wonderful power of God.’

The depth of Böhme’ s approach and insights are nothing short of revolutionary. In his Morgenröthe im Aufgang (Aurora)  Böhme offers ‘a description based on nature how everything is’ and provides an explanation of […] ‘how both qualities have become good and evil, in which all things originate and how it works and is now. […].’

Are we still able to understand and follow this Philosophus Teutonicus, this German philosopher from the beginning of the 17th century? If so – can he still mean anything to us?

Peter Huijs, (Tegelen 1951) is an art historian, who has previously published on the sources of the original Rosicrucian movement. In ‘Geroepen door het Wereldhart’ presented the history of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum and its founders. In ‘Gnosis, Stromen van Licht in Europa’ he discussed persons who devoted their lives to the hidden current of esoteric Christianity. ‘Volmaakt Licht’  is a volume of essays on the science of the soul. He is a publisher at Rozenkruis Pers and an editor of the international periodical Pentagram.

Date: Thursday 29 November
Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 10.00 / student € 8.00
Language: English


7 en 28 NOVEMBER The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

Every Wednesday in October Rachel Ritman will give an in-depth tour of this wonderful object and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition.

Date: 7 en 28 November
Time: 3.30pm-4.30pm 
Tickets: € 7,50 excl. museum ticket


16 NOVEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On November 16th the Menuetto Trio is back with: Valle González Martín (oboe), Alejandro Peiteado Brea (clarinet) en Daniel Garrido Iglesias (bassoon)



Programme:
Sándor Veress (1907-1992) - Sonatina (1931) 
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Variationen Über das Thema Là ci darem la mano (1795) 
Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986) - Suite pour Trio d'Anches (1949)


15 November - Lecture by director Esther Ritman on Robert Fludd

Presentation by director Esther Ritman on the extraordinary images from 17th-century English scientist and physician Robert Fludd. The lecture will be followed by a guided tour where the original engravings, visualizing the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm, are on display. What can we learn today from Fludd’s mapping of the human mind?

Date: 15 November
Time: 7.00-9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 15,- including tour
Language: English


1 NOVEMBER Lecture by Lauri Ockenström- Magical images and shaping selfhood: Renaissance readers and users of medieval talismans

In his widespread treatise on astrology, De vita coelitus comparanda (1489), Marsilio Ficino wrote: “Astrologers think that propitious images have a similar power, by which they somehow change the nature and behaviour of the wearer; restore him to a better state, so that he becomes now almost another person.”

The idea to which Ficino refers, the importance of intention and mental disposition in magical experiments, is a well-known fact in studies of the history of magic. The conception of magical images, inherited from medieval sources such as the Latin Picatrix was adapted in current theoretical axioms in the theory of humours, in pneumatology and in Neoplatonic cosmology. In this framework, an image did not just make its bearer subject to a planet, but also provided the bearer with a variety of new properties, making the bearer “another person.”

This lecture has two goals. First, it examines Renaissance authors, such as Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa and Camillo Leonardi, as readers of medieval image magic by exploring, through the example case of the memory talisman, the different ways in which the medieval material was received, adapted and applied in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Second, it focuses on mental dimensions of magical images in late medieval and early modern discussions. It explores magical images as instruments for shaping selfhood and identity, for contextualizing personal experiences, and for locating oneself in a complex universe of intertwined radiations. In the final section, the use of renaissance talismans is hypothetically compared to modern jewellery and the distinctive marks of cultural subgroups (such as band t-shirts) in the context of theories of collecting and subcultural capital.


Lauri Ockenström is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Music, Art and Culture studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He studied history, philosophy and art history in the University of Jyväskylä, specialising in Renaissance Neoplatonism. His licentiate thesis (2011) and doctoral dissertation, completed in 2014, explored Marsilio Ficino’s relations to different branches of Hermetic literature and medieval image magic.
Ockenström has published several articles on Ficino and medieval magic, such as Refined Resemblances: Three Categories of Astromagical Images in Marsilio Ficino’s De vita 3.18 and Their Indebtedness to “Abominable” Books” (Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, 2014).

Date: 1 November
Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 10.00 / student € 8.00


17, 24 and 31 OCTOBER The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

Every Wednesday in October Rachel Ritman will give an in-depth tour of this wonderful object and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition.

Date: 17, 24 and 31 October
Time: 3.30pm-4.30pm
Tickets: € 7,50 excl. museum ticket

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


 26 OCTOBER & 9 NOVEMBER Guided Tour by Master Bookbinder Geert van Daal

Master bookbinder Geert van Daal has been making magnificent bookbindings and boxes for the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH) since 1984. These objects are the outcome of a close and inspired collaboration between Geert van Daal and Joost Ritman, founder of the BPH. As a result, every object epitomizes the form and content of the books. Many of the bindings were hand-gilded using 22 to 24 carat gold. A retrospective exhibition of Geert van Daal’s magnificent oeuvre is on view in the Embassy of the Free Mind through 24 November.

Geert van Daal will offer a one-hour tour on Friday 26 October and Friday 9 November, highlighting many aspects of his spellbinding work.

Date: Friday 26 October and Friday 9 November
Time: 3.30-4.30pm 
Tickets: € 7,50,- (museum ticket not included)
Language: Dutch, unless there will be non-Dutch speaking guests in which case the tour will be given in English.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS

 


19 OCTOBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On October 19th there will be a concert by Deborah Witteveen, saxophone, and Max van den Brand, bass trombone
Programme: J. Pz. Sweelinck - Mein junges Leben hat ein End; J.S. Bach - Violin partita no. 2 BWV 1004: Allemande, Courente; J. Naulais - Monologue; D. Schnyder - Tales from another time; J. Burgstaller - Lullaby; D. Schnyder - Schumacher March

 

Deborah Witteveen (1995) studies with Arno Bornkamp at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She is winner of may prizes, including third prize at the first international saxophne competition in Wroclaw, Poland. She took masterclasses with artists such as Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Nobuya Sugawa and Johannes Thorell. She participated in the Orlando Festival and the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France.
Deborah performs at home and abroad. As a soloist she performed with the Orkest van het Oosten and the Gelders Fanfare Orkest. She also gave concerts with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, including the 2017 New Year’s Concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Currently she plays chamber music in various ensembles.

Max van den Brand is a versatile bass trombonist. He played with the Young Netherlands Wind Ensemble and several times with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. In addition to many trombone, brass and wind ensembles, he is a member of professional orchestras at home and abroad. He graduated with honours form the bachelor’s degree programme at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he studied with Brandt Attema and Alexander Verbeek. Currently he studies with Ben van Dijk, Jörgen van Rijen, Remko de Jager and Pierre Volders in the master’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Upcoming concerts:
Fri November 16th 13.30h - Menuetto Trio
Fri December 21st 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Information may be subject to change.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


10 OCTOBER Working wonders with gold - demonstration workshop on manual gilding

Already since 1984 master bookbinder Geert van Daal has been making magnificent bookbindings and boxes for the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH). These objects are the outcome of a close and inspired collaboration between Geert van Daal and Joost Ritman, founder of the BPH. As a result, every object epitomizes the form and content of the books. Many of the bindings were hand-gilded following a time-honoured method using 22 to 24 carat gold.

Are you curious to see how hand gilding is actually done? Join Geert van Daal in the Embassy of the Free Mind on Wednesday 10 October, when he will demonstrate in a half hour workshop how he decorates a book cover using 22-carat gold leaf with a thickness of 1/7000mm (it takes 7,000 gold leaves to obtain a 1mm-thick layer). He will explain about the gold leaf, how it is glued to the cover and which gilding tools he uses. Geert really works wonders with gold.

This demonstration workshop is part of the retrospective exhibition of Geert van Daal’s magnificent oeuvre on view in the Embassy of the Free Mind through 24 November.

Date: Wednesday 10 October
Time: 2.00-2.30pm and 3.00-3.30pm 
Tickets: € 5,- (museum ticket not included)
Language: Dutch, unless there will be non-Dutch speaking guests in which case the demonstration will be given in English.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 


21 SEPTEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

                                                                    

Upcoming concerts:
Fri September 21st 13.30h- Karina Sosnowska, violin
Fri October 19th 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Fri November 16th 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Fri December 21st 13.30h - programme t.b.a.

Information may be subject to change.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


16 SEPTEMBER - a chamber concert by Amsterdam Sinfonietta

On Sunday 16 September the leaders of the renowned string orchestra Amsterdam Sinfonietta will be performing together with the Scottish pianist together with Alasdair Beatson in the Embassy of the Free Mind in Amsterdam. The concert marks the start of the collaboration between the Ambassade Hotel, which previously organised two Musical Salons in its hotel and is a sponsor of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and the Embassy of the Free Mind. This afternoon music by Haydn and Korngold will be performed in an intimate setting. After the concert drinks will be offered in the café; the museum will also be open to the public.

The Ambassade Hotel is a beautiful canal hotel that is also well-known for its library and collection of CoBrA art. A sponsor and organiser of literary and musical salons, it is greatly involved in the cultural climate of Amsterdam.
The Embassy of the Free Mind is a museum library with a collection of 25,000 books and is a platform for free thinking. Both the collection and the location of the museum, the House with the Heads, are inseparably linked with Amsterdam’s history of freedom of religion and the press.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta is the only professional string orchestra in the Netherlands for thirty years  running and performs throughout the world. In addition to the 22-strong orchestra’s own programme, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs a chamber music programme each year. Artistic director: Candida Thompson.

Concert: J. Haydn, Piano trio No. 39 ‘Gypsy’, and G / E.W. Korngold, Suite, Op. 23, for two violins, cello and piano left hand
Doors open: 3.30pm
Concert:
4.00-5.00pm
Our café will be open from 3.30-6.00pm

Date: Sunday 16 September
Venue: Grote Sael, House with the Heads, 123, Keizersgracht in Amsterdam

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


13 SEPTEMBER - THE RITMAN LIBRARY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

07.30pm - 09.30om | € 10 | Language: English spoken with English subtitles | Duration: 90 minutes

Thursday 13 September we will be screening a unique film: a documentary about The Ritman Library! Sara Ferro and Chris Weil of Artoldo Pictures visited the library in the spring of 2016, not long before we moved out of the building on Bloemstraat. Their documentary offers a really unique view inside our previous location and the library there. The result is a 90-minutes long sequence of enchanting books, unique interviews, beautiful pearls of wisdom, side by side with a clear and concise history of western Esotericism by Dr. Marco Pasi, Associate Professor at the Chair of History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. If you want to be immersed in a wealth of wisdom, history and previously unrecorded stories: you’ve just got to watch this movie!

Doors open: 7pm
Start film: 7.30pm
End: 9.30pm
There will be a twenty minute break in the movie
Our café will be open from 7-9.30pm

Movie description by Artoldo
This documentary shows you how rare old books about the divine essence of things, the hidden reality behind the curtain of visible life, can be the first companions for a soul seeking for an inner spiritual path, and how this path can guide you to the nature of the universe, shedding light on the intimate relationship between Microcosm and Macrocosm. How the rediscovery in early printed books of rejected knowledge and concealed truths can ignite a transcendent spark, help to pass a sort of mystical gate and find access to a circle of initiates. In a symbolical alchemical transmutation of one’s own reality. How some ancient metaphysical traditions can incorporate the Inviolable, Absolute and Permanent. How a certain particular world of bibliophiles ticks, what motivates them and how to come to terms with auctions while you build up your library – and above all why to build up a library. Understanding books as an engine of cultural revolutions and as a heritage of hard-fought theories and determined authors, all of which we can now enjoy freely. The founder of the BPH Joost Ritman, the director of the library Esther Ritman, the curators Cis van Heertum and José Bouman tell us about all this, while Marco Pasi of the University of Amsterdam narrates the wonderful and captivating history of Western Esotericism.

See legendary first editions, rare books and manuscripts like the famous Fama Fraternitatis, the Corpus Hermeticum, Tabula Smaragdina, Atalanta Fugiens, Spaccio della bestia trionfante, Plantin’s Polyglot Bible and discover amazing works of authors like Basilius Valentinus, Marsilio Ficino, Johannes Reuchlin, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Heinrich Khunrath, Michael Maier, Jacob Böhme, Lambspring, Robert Fludd, Daniel Mögling, Benedictus de Spinoza, Matthäus Merian and Stephan Michelspacher.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


8 SEPTEMBER - GUIDED TOUR 'TEACHING BY IMAGES' BY ESTHER RITMAN

Teaching by Images is the trademark of the Embassy of the Free Mind. The inventor of visual education, the Czech philosopher Jan Amos Comenius, was a very welcome guest in the seventeenth century in the Huis met de Hoofden - House with the Heads, home to our museum. In the footsteps of Comenius we like to invite you to become intrigued and enchanted by the wonderful images from our collection, and learn something about the interconnectedness between the universe, nature and humanity. Book your ticket now to join a fascinating tour by director Esther Ritman on 8 September!

Date: 8 September at 11.30 am
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: English
Costs: € 10 excl. museum admission

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


24 AUGUST - SECRET SYMBOLS - ONE HOUR INTRODUCTION & GUIDED TOUR
BY PROF. DR. PETER FORSHAW

On Friday 24th August, the new Head of the Ritman Research Institute, Dr. Peter Forshaw, will give a brief introduction to his fascination, in particular, for the imagery of medieval and early modern alchemy and how this connects with his research project on the eighteenth-century manuscripts and books of the Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer or Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. Afterwards he will take you to the Rare Books Room and you will get the chance to look at original works in the collection, including some of Peter’s favourites by the theosophical alchemist Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605) and the mythoalchemist Michael Maier (1568-1622).

Date: 24 August at 3pm
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: English | 3-4pm


30 AUGUST - DUTCH GUIDED TOUR ON THE DREAM OF POLIPHILUS

The popular exhibition showcasing the unique Renaissance book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, translated into French as Songe de Poliphile in 1546, has been prolonged until the end of August. This personal copy of William the Silent, as he was also known, is a well-preserved and pristine copy with 181 woodcuts. It is of immeasurable cultural value and tells a wonderful allegorical story. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see this extraordinary book!

The exhibition was organized by the Boek van Oranje Foundation to mark the launch of a facsimile edition with a new Dutch translation entitled De droom van Poliphile. We expect the translation to be available in our museum and webshop at the end of August again. The exact date will be communicated soon.

Date: 30 august at 3.30 pm
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: Dutch
Costs: € 5 excl. museum admission


17 AUGUST - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

Jasper Iturrospe, gitar

Of Basque descent through his grandfather, who came to Belgium as a young man, Jasper Iturrospe grew up in Antwerp and studied with Enno Voorhorst at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. Currently he is studying with Johannes Möller in the master’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Jasper performs throughout Belgium and the Netherlands. He has won first prizes at several competitions, including the Belfius Classics Competition and the Antwerp Guitar Festival.

A Classical guitarist, Jasper plays a programme featuring various styles, with a predilection for Spanish and South-American music.

Programme

Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) - Lamentos do Morro (1915-1955)
Antonio Lauro - Venezuelan Walzes (1917-1986)
Astor Piazzolla - Invierno Porteño (Arr. Sergio Assad) (1921-1992)
Giulio Regondi - Rêveri (1822-1872) 
Roland Dyens - Thème félin (1955-2016)
Antonio Carlos Jobím - Felicidade (Arr. Roland Dyens) (1927-1994)                                                                          


2 AUGUST - THE RITMAN LIBRARY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

07.30pm - 09.30om | € 10 | Language: English spoken with English subtitles | Duration: 90 minutes

Thursday 2 August we will be screening a unique film: a documentary about The Ritman Library! Sara Ferro and Chris Weil of Artoldo Pictures visited the library in the spring of 2016, not long before we moved out of the building on Bloemstraat. Their documentary offers a really unique view inside our previous location and the library there. The result is a 90-minutes long sequence of enchanting books, unique interviews, beautiful pearls of wisdom, side by side with a clear and concise history of western Esotericism by Dr. Marco Pasi, Associate Professor at the Chair of History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. If you want to be immersed in a wealth of wisdom, history and previously unrecorded stories: you’ve just got to watch this movie!

Doors open: 7pm
Start film: 7.30pm
End: 9.30pm
There will be a twenty minute break in the movie
Our café will be open from 7-9.30pm

Movie description by Artoldo
This documentary shows you how rare old books about the divine essence of things, the hidden reality behind the curtain of visible life, can be the first companions for a soul seeking for an inner spiritual path, and how this path can guide you to the nature of the universe, shedding light on the intimate relationship between Microcosm and Macrocosm. How the rediscovery in early printed books of rejected knowledge and concealed truths can ignite a transcendent spark, help to pass a sort of mystical gate and find access to a circle of initiates. In a symbolical alchemical transmutation of one’s own reality. How some ancient metaphysical traditions can incorporate the Inviolable, Absolute and Permanent. How a certain particular world of bibliophiles ticks, what motivates them and how to come to terms with auctions while you build up your library – and above all why to build up a library. Understanding books as an engine of cultural revolutions and as a heritage of hard-fought theories and determined authors, all of which we can now enjoy freely. The founder of the BPH Joost Ritman, the director of the library Esther Ritman, the curators Cis van Heertum and José Bouman tell us about all this, while Marco Pasi of the University of Amsterdam narrates the wonderful and captivating history of Western Esotericism.

See legendary first editions, rare books and manuscripts like the famous Fama Fraternitatis, the Corpus Hermeticum, Tabula Smaragdina, Atalanta Fugiens, Spaccio della bestia trionfante, Plantin’s Polyglot Bible and discover amazing works of authors like Basilius Valentinus, Marsilio Ficino, Johannes Reuchlin, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Heinrich Khunrath, Michael Maier, Jacob Böhme, Lambspring, Robert Fludd, Daniel Mögling, Benedictus de Spinoza, Matthäus Merian and Stephan Michelspacher.


3 AUGUST - RARE BOOKS TOUR ON WESTERN ESOTERICISM

3.30 - 4.30 pm | € 20 (including museum ticket) | Language: English | Duration: 60 minutes

Rare Books Tour open to all - Special Price!

Find out about Western Esotericism, the unique collection of The Ritman Library in the Embassy of the Free Mind, and let yourself be enchanted by some of our early printed books and manuscripts in an inspiring tour offered by our curator Cis van Heertum.

A selection of our rare books will be waiting for you! One of the highlights in this tour is a manuscript copy of Zoroaster Clavis Artis, a manuscript of the early eighteenth century of which only a few copies appear to exist, two of which in Italian libraries. The copy of The Ritman Library can now be added to this select list…

You can join this public Rare Books Tour at a special price of €20 instead of the usual €25 (includes admission to the museum). For holders of the Museumkaart, Stadspas Amsterdam or our own annual pass admission for this tour is €10.


7 JUNE - Lecture and guided tour: Alchemy: the art of transformation by our curator Cis van Heertum

An introduction on Alchemy at the Embassy of the Free Mind by our curator Cis van Heertum on the basics of alchemy or the art of transformation, followed by a unique guided tour through the Embassy focusing on alchemical imagery. Cis will explain how the art of alchemy was reflected in 17th-century engravings. 

If you are unable to attend the talk, however, you can also book a Rare Books Tour on alchemy by Cis van Heertum. As of 7 June a self-guided tour on alchemy will be available if you want to discover alchemy in the Embassy of the Free Mind on your own.

PROGRAM
19.30 - 19.45 Doors open
19.45 - 20.10 Welcome and introduction on Alchemy
20.10 - 20.30 Guided Tour Rare Books Group 1
20.30 - 20.50 Guided Tour Rare Books Group 2 


8 & 22 JUNE - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.


11 MAY - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The next concert of the series will be given on the 11th of May by Mirna Ackers and Agnese Lecchi.

Mirna Ackers

At the age of 15, Mirna Ackers (1995) was admitted to the Sweelinck Academy for exceptionally gifted young musicians at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she studied with Marieke Schneemann. Currently she studies in the final year of the bachelor’s programme at the Conservatorium Amsterdam, also with Marieke Schneemann. She receives regular lessons with Kersten McCall and Vincent Cortvrint (both members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra). She took masterclasses with artists including Emily Beynon, Robert Dick, Peter-Lukas Graf, Jacques Zoon and Susan Milan. Additionally, she studies Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. Over two years, Mirna had the privilege to play first flute in the JeugdOrkest Nederland, conducted by Jurjen Hempel. In september 2016, she was selected to play in the ‘Side by Side’ project in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra during the RCO Opening Night 2016, which was also Daniele Gatti’s inauguration. Currently, Mirna is a member of the National Youth Orchestra (NJO), conducted by Antony Hermus. In 2014, she won second prize at the Dutch ‘Prinses Christina Concours’ in Haarlem, reaching the national semifinals In 2015 and 2016, she was the only Dutch participant to reach the final of the Dutch International Flute Competition. Besides giving concerts, she enjoys to perform for charities like KIKA and Learn2Learn.

Agnese Lecchi

Born in 1994, Agnese Lecchi graduated from the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Brescia, where she studied with Mauro Scappini. She attended masterclasses and courses with Philippe Bernold, Denis Bouriakov, Jacques Zoon, Marco Zoni, Andrea Oliva and many others. She is the winner of numerous international and national competitions. Currently Agnese studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Kersten McCall, where she also has been first flute in various symphonic productions.

 


18 MAY - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The next concert of the series will be given on the 18th of May by Silvan de Smit and Iasonas Daskalakis.

Silvan de Smit studies classical guitar with Johannes Möller at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He took masterclasses with Aniello Desiderio, Irina Kulikova, Paul O'Dette, Thomas Müller-Pering, Mark Eden, Sabrina Vlaskalic, Laura Young, Johannes Monno and others. Some of Silvan's accomplishments include a concert in the famous Gitaarsalon in Enkhuizen and its guitar festival, an opening concert of virtuoso Gabriel Bianco with his guitar quartet and he also was a soloist in a performance of Harmony Orchestra Vleuten in the Beurs van Berlage. He gives concerts regularly with his duo partner guitarist Iasonas Daskalakis. Every year he visits various guitar festivals to gain inspiration and to meet fellow guitar players.

Iasonas Daskalakis (Athene, 1991) graduated in Classical guitar from the National Conservatory of Athens in 2011. He obtained his diploma with honours and a first prize. He performed at many festivals in Greece and won prizes at various competitions. From 2009 to 2013 he taught guitar at the National Conservatory of Athens. Subsequently, he moved to Amsterdam to continue his studies and his teaching practice. During his studies he also studied composition, piano, and music from Indonesia.

 


20 APRIL - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The first concert of the series was given on the 20th of April by the Menuetto Trio: Valle González Martin, oboe; Francisco José Espinosa Ruiz, clarinet; Daniel Garrido Iglesias, bassoon.

The Menuetto Trio was formed in 2017 by three students, who met during the chamber music classes at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Since then, the trio has performed in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Zwolle. The musicians also participated in various chamber music festivals throughout Europe, and won several prizes. The trio performs music originally written for reed trio, such as works by Tansman and Ibert; but also arrangements of compositions by Beethoven and Mozart. Diverse programmes which show the timbre of a reed trio to full advantage.


12 APRIL 2018 - Prof. Dr. F. Bonardel: Jung and Gnosis

Healer of the soul and man of culture, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) became interested in gnosis as early as 1910 when he was conducting research on mythologies, mysteries and popular beliefs. His intuition told him that this strange and difficult literature held a treasure of images, the meaning of which he had to understand. Faced with an internal crisis soon after (1913), which he recounted in The Red Book, Jung came to consider the Gnostics as the first explorers of the unconscious, discovering the world of archetypes which inspired their visions and myths. Like the alchemists later, these visionaries often guided him in the elaboration of analytical psychology, "Gnostic" in that it restores a fullness of meaning to the disoriented life of contemporary man. Judged heretical by the first Christian authors, the Gnostic beliefs whose origin is uncertain (Syria, Iran, Judea?) gave free rein to the creative imagination and had a vision of salvation that was as close to ancient initiations as it was to Christianity. Valuing self-discovery through the personal experience of the divine, their teaching could not leave Jung unaffected. Had he himself become a "Gnostic", as Martin Buber and some Christian theologians alleged? If he was, it is in his own way: in order to answer to the spiritual demands of his time eager to "know" rather than believe.