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Get Your Art On in Amsterdam

You may have already visited some of Amsterdam’s oldest and most notable museums, but right now in A-town, “renovation” is the word on the street. It’s time to plan your next curated excursion.


On Saturday, April 13th, 2013, Rijksmuseum will reopen to the public after a decade of renovation, reconstruction, and restoration. On display, you’ll find Vermeer’s 1660 “The Milkmaid” among many other famous works. Influenced by the Utrecht Caravaggists, Johannes Vermeer lived and worked in the town of Delft, located 70 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam. There, you can visit his grave at Oude Kerk (Old Church).

Rijksmuseum is also home to several of Rembrandt’s masterpieces, including “Night Watch,” his largest painting. Rembrandt studied at Universiteit Leiden, (est. 1575) the first in the Netherlands to practice freedom of religion. Located 47 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam, Rembrandt’s campus mingles vibrantly with the city of Leiden. Feeling studious yourself? Study Rembrandt’s work with chiaroscuro in the paintings at Rijksmuseum. He is buried in Amsterdam’s Westerkerk.

Van Gogh Museum

Also undergoing renovation, the Van Gogh Museum will reopen Thursday, April 25th, 2013. Meanwhile, many of Van Gogh’s paintings, including his 1887 Self Portrait with Pipe and Straw Hat, are on display at nearby Hermitage Amsterdam (Amstel 51). Walk the “Van Gogh Mile” from the Van Gogh Museum to the Hermitage Amsterdam with audio installations guiding you the whole way. The two museums are literally connected by red cord.

Come April, the Van Gogh Museum will offer more than just paintings; lithography and paper sculptures, as well as children’s workshops in the museum’s art studio and a treasure hunt activity will certainly entertain art appreciators of all ages.

Museum Van Loon

This historic canal house was built in 1672 and named for the Van Loon family (founding members of the Dutch East India Company). The house, coach house, and gardens are located in Amsterdam’s canal district on Keizersgracht. Admire family portraits, and browse the Van Loon’s collection of silver, porcelain, fine furniture, and paintings. Included in the price of admission, (€8) enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, cake and wifi in the garden. Museum Van Loon particpates in Amsterdam’s Open Garden Days, this year taking place June 14, 15, and 16.

The Anne Frank House

Anne’s original diaries and other writings are on display at The Anne Frank House. The house is located in central Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 263-267. Tour the Secret Annex, accessible by a moveable bookcase, where the Frank family and four others hid during the war. After your visit, buy Anne Frank’s diary in any of dozens of available languages in the museum’s book store, and sit down to read it in the cafe, (open only to visitors of the museum) where the famous Kuyt bakery apple pie is sold. The cafe overlooks the Prinsengracht and the Westertoren. Tickets €8, open daily at 9:00 a.m.

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