mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
One of the World’s Greatest Museums Back After Decade-Long Break

The Rijksmuseum is reopening in Amsterdam after a ten-year restoration. This is a must-see museum that should be on everyone’s lifetime to-do list, and it sounds as if those of us who have been there already need to go back and see what they’ve done. The Financial Times reports:

What has been done with the museum is less a restoration with some fancy contemporary design than the inauguration of a curatorial revolution. When you see those early Rembrandts or the great mannerist “Massacre of the Innocents” of Cornelis van Haarlem with its ballet of twisting rumps, you will also encounter, as would those who would first have seen them, the silver, weapons and cabinets that were the furniture of the culture that made those pictures possible. You will enter the historical world of the Netherlands at a particular moment. And, because the objects are housed in frameless, edgeless displays in which the glass is of a stunning invisibility, nothing in one’s field of vision separates images from artefacts. […]

Perhaps even more wonderfully, although the Rijksmuseum is about to be the greatest history-teaching institution anywhere in the world, it’s not all homework. Around every corner is eye-popping merriment and pleasure.

Summer is a wonderful time in Amsterdam, and one advantage of the euro crisis is that a visit can be relatively inexpensive. For VM readers thinking about summer plans, this just might be the time to see one of the cities that helped make the modern world and that houses some of the finest art to be seen anywhere on the planet.

Learn more about the museum and plan your visit here.

[Rijksmuseum image courtesy of Wikimedia.]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Atanu Maulik

    Great news. Hope to be back there soon for a second trip.

  • Mark Michael

    I visited the Rijksmuseum on my first visit to Europe, which was in 1970. I had agreed to rendezvous with my younger brother at Dam Square in Amsterdam – at his suggestion. He had spent his junior year in college studying in Cambridge and suggested we do the Grand Tour of the big European cities before he came home. So I bought a Eurail Pass, a rd-trip ticket on Icelandic Airlines (the only cut-rate airline at that time; used old propeller planes that vibrated your guts out for 14 hours) which flew into Brussels. So I had to catch a train to Amsterdam and find my way to Dam’s Square, which turned out to be a big gathering point for long-haired hippies. (My brother had long hair and a beard, too. Thankfully, he recognized me!) I’m not much of an art connoisseur; I vaguely remember large, colorful Rembrandt’s, the “Night Watch” I think was on display.

    I brought along Eric Fromm’s Europe on $5 a Day and we faithfully followed its recommendations as we went from city to city for 3 weeks. We made it on less than $4/day! Lots of youth hostels. (I think it was a train down the Rhine River all the way to Munich; then Salzburg, Vienna, skipped Switzerland into Italy – Venice, Florence, Rome – off to the French Riviera – Nice, up to Paris, and then we split up. I went back to Brussels and home. He went to the Scandinavian countries.) Obviously, we skipped oodles of interesting sites to see. Amsterdam was one of the most pleasant cities on the trip, although I enjoyed them all. Going back is a great idea. (I think I’ve been to Europe maybe 6 or 7 times since, but not The Netherlands – or Scandinavian countries, either.)

  • close_reader

    While you’re in the Netherlands, check out the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam, too–it’s a little jewel.

    • joe___h

      Don’t forget the Mauritshuis in the Hague or the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. Both much more of a relaxing and rewarding experience than the Museumplein in the Summer!

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service