Our new series – Address Book, is here to take you all around the art world, one week at a time.
For our third offering, we’re cycling over to the canals, cafés and coffee shops of a Dutch icon – Amsterdam. As if its quaint narrow streets, dollhouse-like architecture and a labyrinth of stunning canals weren’t enough, Amsterdam also boasts one of the best artistic scenes in Europe. Down those Dutch pancakes, park your bike and stop off at these 4 destinations worthy of a visit.
1. Stedelijk Museum
Dedicated to modern contemporary art and design – and Netherlands’ largest such museum, the Stedelijk, opened in 1895, has been a leading force for more than a century. Stedelijk’s run hasn’t been without drama: in the late 1980s, a thief stole pieces by Van Gogh, Cezanne and Jongkind, but the complete set was soon recovered by police, undamaged. Now firmly theft-proof and thriving, the Stedelijk is the best place in Amsterdam to see some of the most impressive examples of major movements including Bauhaus, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism.
Address: Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
You can kill two birds with one stone at Foam: a typical Amsterdam canal house and an excellent collection of photography. The museum is located in a renovated 18th century building right on the water, and, with a program centered around four major exhibitions at any given time, Foam ensures its visitors can enjoy a versatile and ever-changing roster of outstanding photographic achievement. Themes covered range from the niche to the universal; in a jungle of canal-facing houses, this one’s well worth stepping inside of.
Address: Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands.
A mention of this most famous museum was inevitable – with a legacy built up over 134 years, there’s no going past the country’s largest collection of art and artifacts. You’ll lose count of all the works by Rembrandt, let your imagination run wild as you travel in time through 15th-century paintings, and raise an eyebrow at unique furniture collections, silverware selections and even preserved dollhouses from decades past. Weapons and textiles and costumes are also poised for perusal, so while this museum can feel overwhelming at times, it’s hard to turn your back on on the biggest and best.
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands.
4. Van Gogh Museum
Sometimes it’s nice to wander off the beaten path, and sometimes – like in Amsterdam – it’s nicer to make a beeline for a nation’s quintessential figures and works. Van Gogh is a prolific figure of Dutch art – and history, and the museum celebrating his iconic body of work houses over 700 examples of his famous productivity. In the debate over quality vs. quantity, the pieces in the Van Gogh Museum serve as proof that, with just the right amount of genius, there’s no need to choose.
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
With our brief take on some major art addresses in Amsterdam complete, it’s over to you to pen an itinerary and lose yourself in some of the canal city’s highlights.