One of the many aspects Amsterdam is known for is its large selection of museums, over 60 different museums are set in this city of art and culture. Museumplein captures people’s attention with its open-space scenery and ‘IAmsterdam’ sign. Home to a wide range of museums, such as the exceptional Stedelijk Museum of modern and contemporary art, between 650 – 750 thousand people visit the museum per year.
Stedelijk Museum was founded in 1874 as part of a modernisation project and moved into its present, eye-capturing building, designed by Adriaan Willem Weissman between the years 1891-1895. The museum changes exhibitions frequently, and has many upcoming exhibitions such as “Friendly Good” by Lily Van Der Stokker, “Freedom of Movement” and many others.
“The preparation of the content of an exhibition can take between 6 months up to two years” says Marit Versantvoort of the Stedelijk press office. Furthermore, the choice of exhibition is a lengthy process. “Our curatorial staff develops the program, they scout and search, they are in contact with the international gallery- and museum world, and prepare plans. In the end the Head of Collections and the Director decide”, continues Versantvoort. Currently, the visitors have the opportunity to discover three noteworthy exhibitions: “Stedelijk Base”, “A Fragile Beauty”, and “Amsterdam, the Magic Center”.
“Stedelijk Base” is an ongoing exhibition, highlighting art pieces from the Stedelijk Museum’s collection. The first part of the exhibition already offers a wide selection of around 700 pieces of artwork by artists, such as Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian and many others. The design of the first part of the exhibition was developed by AMO/Rem Koolhaas, together with Federico Martelli, who created an unusual museum experience by forming separate sections of art based on different themes. The second part of the “Stedelijk Base” exhibitions was designed by Barbara Kruger and features art pieces from the 1980s until the present-day by artists, such as Jeff Koons and Anselm Kiefer. Overall, Stedelijk Base is a great first step of the museum tour as it provides an introduction into the history of modern art and design.
An evident minimalism art exhibition on display at the moment is the “A Fragile Beauty” by German artist Günther Förg. The exhibition is available for visitors to see from the 26th of May until the 14th of October 2018. “A Fragile Beauty” displays a combination of paintings, photographs and sculptures. Each room of the exhibition has a different theme, where visitors can see Förg playing with different colours, shapes and techniques. The exhibition is divided into various different parts, making each room stand on its own and compliment the exhibition as a whole.
Another eye-capturing exhibition is the “Amsterdam, the Magic Center”, focusing on the late 1960s. The exhibition provides an inside into a rebellious era, and the art, that was created in Amsterdam at that time. Designed by Bart Guldemond, the exhibition presents around 250 art pieces collected from the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum and others. Guldemond presents eccentric artworks, such as human size insects and other extravagant installations.
During any part of the year, Stedelijk Museum offers a diversity of compelling exhibitions, exploring modern art and design. There is no doubt that Stedelijk is one of Amsterdam’s must-see museums that compels us to visit it more than once and appreciate its distinct exhibitions in the city.
- Reporter (Fall 2018)