The Museum Paul Tetar van Elven is housed in a quaint sixteenth century canal house on the Koornmarkt (Corn Market) in the city center of Delft. The house was once the private residence of the famous artist Paul Tetar van Elven (1832 – 1896), who was a painter of historical scenes, portraits, and copies of Old Master works of art.
Tetar van Elven was also a passionate collector of porcelain, earthenware, antiques and curiosa (weapons, furniture, costumes), and he regularly bought work from contemporary artists. His diverse collection of ceramics include seventeenth century Chinese Ming porcelain, Japanese Imari porcelain, eighteenth century Famille Roseporcelain, Amsterdams bont and of course Dutch Delftware. His remarkable and unique collection is highlighted by the evocative interior design, largely unchanged since Tetar van Elven’s life.
After his death, he bequeathed the house and its contents to the city of Delft to transform it into a museum and maintain his collection. This carefully preserved nineteenth century home transports visitors with its lived-in feel, and is a hidden gem in the city of Delft.