On a quick stop through Holland last month, I took in the sights of Amsterdam. It was a quick layover, but I would have time to take in some art before continuing with my journey to Italy. After making my way through Customs, I quickly took my seat on the 197 Amsterdam Airport Express on my way to the center of the city.
My first stop, the Rijksmuseum, where there is plenty of art to take in. There’s a large collection of works by Vermeer and Rembrandt. I also knew I needed to stop by to see the extensive contemporary art collection at Stedelijk.
Van Gogh Museum Exhibition View
I only had time for one, so I headed to the Van Gogh Museum. You do not have to be an art historian to know about Vincent van Gogh; he is the most widely known European artist with pieces such as “Starry Night”, “The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum”, or “Sunflowers.”
And if by chance you don’t know his artwork, I am sure you are most certainly aware of the artist who cut off his ear and attempted suicide. I had to stop and get my fill of beautifully textured still-life and portraits, by this noted Dutch artist.
Unfortunately, you are not able to take pictures of any of the works, which is understandable. On May 5th, 2015 a piece by Van Gogh sold for $66 million.
View from within the Van Gogh Museum
A reproduction of “Flowers” in the gift shop
ARTZUID Exhibition Sign at the Museumplein
KAWS, “Along the Way”
I wish I had more time in Amsterdam. There was great public art on display courtesy of ARTZUID, the international biennial open-air sculpture exhibition up through the end of September. If you can travel to Amsterdam before the fall, it is worthwhile to wander through the city and see these great sculptures. I was not able to see them all but was glad I was able to see this KAWS piece.
To end my short trip, I saw a few of the Miffy sculptures, honoring the children’s story character that is beloved in Holland, Japan, and other countries throughout the world.
This public art installation is in honor of Dick Bruna and his beloved character Miffy and is one of six in Holland and Japan. In partnership with UNICEF, these sculptures were decorated by select international acclaimed artists and will be auctioned off in support of UNICEF’s educational programs for children in need.