Photograph showing Central Avenue in Holland, MI, looking north from 12th Street. The Netherlands Museum can be seen from the back, at right. A sign hanging on a sign post sits beside the museum advertising the Little Netherlands.
The Holland Museum was founded in 1937 by Bill Wichers. The museum's first exhibits were shown that same year in Hope College's Memorial Chapel. In 1937 or 1938 the success of these first exhibits led to a more permanent home for the Netherlands Museum in the Masonic Temple building on 10th Street. The 1938 Holland city directory lists 29 East 8th (the Visscher-Brooks building) as the location of the Netherlands Museum offices.
In 1939 the museum moved yet again, this time to the site of the original hospital on the corner of 12th and Central where the museum opened to the public in 1940. Museum offices were now on the 3rd floor of Holland City Hall.
In 1992 the Museum moved across Centennial Park and took up residence in the old post office building at 31 West 10th Street. At that time the 55-year old institution was re-named the Holland Museum.
Bill Wichers served as director from 1937 to 1986. Reid Van Sluys replaced Wichers in 1986 and served as director until 1990. Ann Kiewel took over that same year and guided the Holland Museum for nearly 14 years before retiring in 2003.
In 2004 Ann was replaced by Julie Parke. Joel Lefever, long-time curator for the Holland Museum, replaced Parke as director the same year. Joel stayed on in this role through 2008.
Thea Grigsby served as director from 2009 to 2011. Steve Rosen, interim director in 2011 and Mary Esther Lee, interim director in 2012 followed Grigsby.
Chris Shires came on board as museum director ca. 2013 followed by Janet De Young as interim director in 2017. Ricki Levine has served as director of the Holland Museum since 2017.
Holland, MI resident Peter T. Moerdyk was affiliated with the museum for more than 20 years, mostly as curator.