The exhibition ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’ in the Drents Museum is dedicated to one of the most
revolutionary archaeological finds of the twentieth century: the Dead Sea Scrolls,
discovered in caves near Qumran. This unique collection of Jewish writings is over 2,000
years old and is of vital importance for our knowledge of early Judaism and Christianity.
Sixteen scrolls are presented. Several fragments have not previously been shown to the
public. Alongside the manuscripts, the exhibition comprises over 400 special
archaeological objects that hail from old Judea, Jerusalem, Qumran etc., which place the
manuscripts in the cultural and historical context of the Greek-Roman period. Our solution
was to design an exhibition, which is in the essence archaeological, on an impressive
theatrical way, using sound, light, film and objects to ‘absorb’ visitors into the world
of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Visitors are introduced to the period in which the manuscripts were produced and
collected. Thematic vitrines illustrate important aspects of daily life. The story of the
uprising of the Jews against the Romans in 66AD is told in the next room by film and
archaeological everyday objects, which are the dramatic proof of the flight of the Jews.
In contrary to the scrolls, some of the temple fragments could be touched. The story of
the discovery of manuscripts and the journey they undertook subsequently is told using
film, photographs and objects.
The central square in the exhibition immerses the visitor in an abstract desert. A strong
light source casts long shadows of the visitors present, while a mysterious soundscape
enhances the sense of being in a desert. The area offers access to the pavilion in which
the scrolls are displayed and in which visitors can find out more about the significance,
form (materials, type of writing) and conservations of the manuscripts.
Kossmann.dejong is an Amsterdam-based design studio specialised in exhibition design and interior architecture. With 20 years of experience, our portfolio includes over 80 projects worldwide, ranging from temporary and permanent exhibitions for museums to visitor centers, historic sites, brand experiences and engaging interiors. Through a combination of different media and collaboration across disciplines, we aim to design meaningful, narrative spaces that inspire visitors, appeal emotionally and provide lasting experiences.
- Museums + Heritage Award 2018
- Interior Design Firm of the Year 2017 from the American Architecture Prize
- Project of Influence 2017 for Micropia
- European Design Award 2017 for Offshore Experience
- Kenneth Hudson Award 2016 for Micropia
- Themed Entertainment Award for Outstanding Achievement 2014 for Wonderkamers
- SEGD Global Design Award 2014 for Longing for Mecca
- several International Design & Communication Awards