Sunday , March 26 2023

A Dutch “museum” on Saba

Permanent Exhibitions of Dutch & other Antiques on Saba

Press-Release April 14, 2014

A new private initiative of permanent exhibitions – kind of a private  but real museum – has been opened on Saba.
The collections are not from Saba but from the Netherlands and are definitely unique for the whole Dutch Caribbean. The collections are combined with informative powerpoint presentations and websites.

All antiques are from between 1500 and 1850 and have been inherited by René Caderius van Veen, who – since he was a boy of 5 years old – was always present when his grandmother  started to collect antiques after having lost much in Arnhem (Netherlands) in WorldWar II and even as a small boy he was almost always asked which artefacts he liked the most. He also inherited collections from two aunts.

 Almost everything from his home (see: has been transported to Saba in January 2011. Already in that year the first exhibitions of many books from between 1640 and 1777 – especially those with beautiful copper-engravings – and of Dutch tiles from between 1625 to 1850 have been organised by René together with powerpoint presentations and websites also of Persian tapestry and Chinese, Japanese and Saxonian porcelain from between 1600 and 1900.

Making inventories and presentations of everything is a time-consuming activity and is still going on, but as a sufficient part is ready now, the exhibition of most of the antiques is permanent from now on.

René Caderius van Veen has expertise in many fields. After his schooltime in gymnasium Arnhem, he studied law, Dutch literature and language, specialised in communication and management. After having been teaching he became responsible for adult-education and vocational education in his region combined with managing approx. 60 million of European Social Fund money on an annual basis, was director of post-doctoral vocational education, president and CEO for European networks for regional economic development in Brussels, evaluator for the European Commission etc. But in the beginning of his career he had also been  secretary of the Museum Federation and  museum consultant in the province of Groningen, and the general interest in cultural history is now expressed in organising exhibits of his own antiques.

saba-keuken-600 kopie
In a traditional Saban cottage in Windwardside, that has been renovated a couple of years ago by Jim and Judy Stewart – now living in New Mexico after having left Saba in 2011 – an atmosphere has been created, which is astonishing. It is true: the furniture etc. is definitely not from Saba (where by the way almost everything has been imported), but the fact that all artefacts are that old and so beautiful, makes that anyone who loves antiques and cultural history is very much charmed by it.

Moreover a lot of background information is available shared on internet, in powerpoint presentations and when guided by René.
The location is Park Lane Street 12, Windwardside (at the corner just above Juliana’s)
On internet the info can be found on
The museum can be visited all week every afternoon between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. and also on request (phone 416 5856 or email
The maximum number of visitors at one time is 6 persons. Arrangements for ppt-presentations or more complete examples of collections can also be made by phone or by email.

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