Haarlem Amsterdam

The Museum of the Mind is fascinated by the work of art inside your head. Because nothing is as diverse, unique, powerful and yet so fragile as the human mind. Through its art and cultural programs, the museum helps to bring mental health and neurodiversity into the open.

Haarlem | Amsterdam

Museum of the Mind has two locations; one in Haarlem and one in Amsterdam. In Haarlem you can discover more about your own mind and those of others in an interactive way. In Amsterdam you can see exhibitions with outsider art, in which artists show their imaginative inner world. All tickets can be purchased online in advance.

Highlight Route Museum van de Geest Haarlem

Museum of the Mind | Haarlem

In this historical building, you will get to peek inside the minds of artists, writers and scientists. The museum invites you on an interactive voyage of discovery into your own mind, and those of others.

Museum of the Mind is a museum bursting with personal stories, surprising art and an expansive historical collection, straddling the boundaries between healthcare, art and science. A visit to the museum is an experience focused on the wonder and versatility of the mind. Come visit and allow yourself to wonder about what is normal. Are you normal?

The interactive (audio) tours are available in Dutch and English.

Museum van de Geest | Museumcafe Thuys

Monumental building

Museum of the Mind | Haarlem is situated in a unique medieval building: the former lepers-, plague and madhouse. For years the building lay outside the city walls of Haarlem, sheltering the ‘insane’ and people with contagious diseases such as plague and leprosy.

Go back in time and visit one of the very few remaining isolation chambers in Europe, dating from the 16th century. What does it feel like to be locked away in such a dark and confided space?

European Museum of the Year

Museum of the Mind | Haarlem is rewarded with the European Museum of the Year Award 2022.

Museum of the Mind | Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, at the monumental H’ART Museum building on the Amstel, we showcase themed exhibitions based on our extensive collection of Outsider Art.

Outsider Art is often made outside the regular art circuit and is rarely given a stage. The works depict the inner world of artists with their personal visions, obsessions and great affections without being concerned with what the world thinks of it. Out of a strong desire, emotions and fascinations are given shape with every thinkable material.

The museum’s growing collection of Outsider Art includes about 1700 works by 120 (inter)national artists. A selection of masterpieces can always be seen at this location.


The exhibition features remarkable historical images in combination with art, such as Willem van Genk’s Festival of Truth, the unique surviving sketches by Wilhelm Werner from the Prinzhorn Collection, the video installation Untitled and the films of the dramatic evacuations of Duin en Bosch in 1942, which have never been screened in public before.

Universal Declaration of the Open Mind

The stories from the period deserve a permanent place in our collective memory – we must not forget them. Because in times of crisis, it is the vulnerable that are often overlooked and hit the hardest.


Audio guide (available January 2024)

An audio guide accompanies the exhibition, allowing you to delve deeper: how did the situation become so horrific in Germany? And how did the Netherlands respond?

Additionally, you can take time to listen to personal stories of individuals during the war at certain points. In the exhibition, there are special chairs ‘imbued with the soul of the maker’, crafted in the woodworking workshop of the care institution Cordaan.

Available in English end of January 2024.

Museum van de Geest - Amsterdam - Who Cares?

Now on view: Who Cares?

A tribute to victims and care heroes during WWII

We proudly present the exhibition Who Cares?, exploring the history of care in World War II. The museum tells the story of forgotten victims and hidden heroes during the war, in the fields of psychiatry and mental health care. These are stories of desperation, resilience, fear and perseverance. The exhibition is about the care in the Netherlands during those dark years. How good was the care? Did it collapse under the pressure, or in fact, succeed in preventing atrocities? What was the impact of the war on patients and carers?

Museum van de Geest Amsterdam, Who Cares, Bastiaan van Musscher Fotografie (33)

Every mind is different. Your mind works differently to everyone else’s. And your mind constantly changes throughout your life. You face challenges. Intelligence, talent, impairments and illnesses. It’s all part of the deal, it all belongs. Every day, people are excluded and considered inferior in our society. This has to change, as belonging is essential for a healthy mind.

At the end of the exhibition, visitors are invited (as they are at our other location in Haarlem) to sign the Universal Declaration of the Open Mind. We believe in a society in which everyone can participate and everyone is heard and seen, and by signing the declaration, visitors show their support for this vision.

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