On Wednesday, 27 September, Shefali Razdan Duggal, United States Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Kate Nanavatty, United States Consul General in Amsterdam, visited the LAM museum on the Keukenhof Estate in Lisse. With diversity and inclusiveness being high on the ambassador’s agenda, she praised the art museum’s accessibility: “What really impresses me about the LAM museum is its commitment to be open to everyone, no matter how deep a person’s pockets are or how much they know about art.”
Indian-born Shefali Razdan Duggal arrived in the United States at an early age as an immigrant. She was raised by a single mother who worked two minimum-wage jobs, as a seamstress during the day and in a local supermarket cutting vegetables in the evenings. She explains: “By reaching the rank of United States Ambassador, I hope to inspire and motivate young people to never give up. Places such as the LAM museum, where everyone receives a warm welcome and is encouraged to get creative and look at the world with an open mind, can play a huge role.”
The museum’s director, Sietske van Zanten, welcomed the ambassador and the consul general: “It is an honour to introduce our special guests today to the vision and mission of the LAM museum. And that is something we have in common: we seek ways for people of different ages and backgrounds to experience just how talented they are. Looking at art can build self-confidence and teaches us to see things from different perspectives and think big.”
Ambassador Shefali Razdan Duggal enjoyed LAM’s international art collection dedicated to food and consumption: “Food connects people. In my first year as ambassador here in the Netherlands, I have met so many people through simply tasting the delicious regional delicacies, from eierballen in Groningen to oliebollen on New Year’s Eve and herring in Scheveningen. And now, these eyecatchers here at the LAM museum.”
The visitors ended their tour with some grey ice cream, an interactive artwork by the Brazilian artist João Loureiro. This edible art experience is on display at the LAM museum until Saturday, 30 October.