Visit Modern Art in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

The outstanding Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam 

Matisse, painted cardboard cutouts, attached to wall panels by Matisse, with the help of an assistant. An XXL work called Parakeet and Mermaid.

The Stedelijk Museum is the leading Museum for Modern Art & Modern Design in the Netherlands. Its time scope is art and design from around 1900 to the present day.

Visit this „Stedelijk” Modern Art gallery in Amsterdam. Learn how to look intensively at modern art or design and see more than you would initially get at first glance by yourself. An educative and delightful tour by art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

Originally, this museum was a dusty, sedate historical museum with ancient rarities period rooms, a sort of old things in the attic storage museum until the stormy arrival in 1945 of Willem Sandberg, a WW2 resistance hero. From 1945 to 1963 he was director of the museum, swept the cobwebs away and ordered the white paint on the walls of stairways and walls. He gave orders to have that done during one weekend and without the consent of the City Council – getting flak afterwards!

Girl contemplating a Picasso painting.

His taste was unconventional for those times, getting flak from the press – he even organised an exhibition of COBRA artists including Karel Appel, Asger Jorn. Built an extension with a glass wing in 1964, intended for temporary exhibitions (now demolished).

Other high-profile directors after 1963 were Edy de Wilde, Wim Beeren and Rudi Fuchs. Each left its own policy, color and personal taste. With the farewell exhibition La Grande Parade (1985) Edy de Wilde got a stunning 400,000 visitors. Lately the directors were Ann Goldstein and the present director is Beatrux Ruf.

The old building on Paulus Potter Street.

The old 1895 red brick building at Paulus Potterstraat, designed by the Amsterdam city architect A.W. Weissman, has been revamped and is now shown with greenish security glass. A modern extension was added a short while ago. The white building material of this „bathtub” full of modern art is the man-made Twaron, being lighter and stronger than steel. Architect: Crouwel. Opened after 7 years shutdown period. The architecture critic of the New York Times thought it was quite a ridiculous addition to the building. Come see for yourself – make up your own mind.

Inside there are many separate collections, from Amsterdam School to Impressionist, Expressionist, De Stijl (Mondrian), Russian painters and many, many brilliant or upsetting, maddening works made after 1945. Temporary exhibitions enliven the visiting experience and call for repeat visits over the years.

 

Looking down from the side of the ‘Bathtub’ into the entrance hall.

Tour by professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design. VIP entry. Entry at any time of day starting at 10 AM. Fast track entry. Avoid spending time waiting in museum queues.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.

 

Larger images are available on this old school site.

 

 

Art in any form or shape, here in light emitting commercial neon signs.