The KattenKabinet is an art museum in Amsterdam devoted to works depicting cats. The museum collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works of art by Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Corneille, Sal Meijer, Théophile Steinlen, and Jože Ciuha, among others.The museum is housed in a canalside building at Herengracht 497, in the grand Gouden Bocht of this canal. The owner lives on the second floor of the building with his family. There are some cats in the museum as well.HistoryThe house and the adjacent building at Herengracht 499 were built in 1667 for the patrician brothers Willem and Adriaen van Loon. Through the luck of the draw, Willem was given the house at number 497. Later, the house was inhabited by Amsterdam mayor Jan Calkoen and Amsterdam pensionary Engelbert François van Berckel, among others. John Adams visited Van Berckel at the house during his time as U.S. ambassador to the Dutch republic.In 1985, the building was restored, and in 1990 the museum was founded by Bob Meijer in memory of his red tomcat John Pierpont Morgan (named after the American banker J. P. Morgan)
Every five years Morgan received a special present. On his fifth birthday Ansel Sandberg painted his portrait. On his tenth birthday it was a bronze sculpture, for which Morgan himself modeled. Unfortunately, this sculpture was stolen already before the opening of the Cat Cabinet. For the celebrations of his fifteenth birthday his friends and admirers compiled a book of fifty limericks, all dedicated to Morgan: “A Cocky Cat from Toulouse and Other Cat Nonsense”.
For that same birthday, Aart Clerkx made a portrait of Morgan so that he could easily replace George Washington on the American dollar bill. A set of these dollar bills was printed from the bank of Pierpont Morgan for the occasion.
The text “In God We Trust” was specially replaced for Morgan with the text “We Trust No Dog”.
A few of these gifts can be seen in J.P. Morgan’s own sanctuary in the museum.
J.P. Morgan 1966-1983.