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Monday, 01 March 2021

Exploring Amsterdam and its ‘Big Three’ Museums - Page 2

Written by Russ and Emily Firlik
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2) Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam’s museum of modern and contemporary art.

The museum’s interesting architecture is a harmonious collaboration of 19th Dutch Neo-Renaissance meeting the 21st century wing and current entrance. The building was a massive white building with tall ceilings. The rooms were large and spacious providing ample room to move around the collections. We really did like the design section and the modern works. Contemporary art is another geography in and of itself; it is a stretch for me, but a joy for my wife, Emily. The more I visited the Stedelijk, the fresher my observational skills became. I began to observe the dynamic combination of materials, methods and concepts that challenged the boundaries in the 20th century.

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The collection comprised modern and contemporary art and design from the early 20th century up to the 21st century. The museum collection holds 90,000 objects that represent every important movement in art and design of the 20th - 21st centuries. Included are paintings, ‘pop art’ moving images and sound, drawing, posters and photography. It featured artists such as Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Kirchner, Chagall, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, de Looning, Dumas, and many more. An observation and a pleasant surprise were the smaller crowds as opposed to the Vincent van Gogh Museum.


A break from the museums, we continued to be joyful tourists. Not to be missed attractions were taking the tram to Dam Square, the famous flower market, the Cheese Museum and cheese shops, Anne Frank's House, the daily markets and cheese stalls, and the oldest and second oldest churches. We went scouting out the fabric section where an impressive array of Dutch fabrics were on display; Em was in her element for sure. We found our way around rather easily, as Old Amsterdam is not that large. The trams are a quick and easy (albeit expensive) mode of transport. The On and Off canal buses were another way to travel in and around the city. After we found the supermarket, fruit and cheese shops, cafes with reasonably priced coffee/tea and a large multi-stocked department store, we thought we could live here very happily for many years, and still would not discover all that Amsterdam offers.

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As it happened, a few days when the rather chilly and rainy weather detoured our plans, we explored all the areas around the museums. This landed us at the Spiegelwartier - The exciting art and antique quarter. Several blocks of art galleries and art shops along both sides of the canal. A little reminiscent of Paris with the narrow lanes and the shop fronts painted in blue and red enamel paint. We were fortunate to have a healthy lunch at one of the best eating places, we were told, in Amsterdam. What attracted us to this establishment was a sign posted directly at the entrance which stated, ‘We do not accept cash, only credit cards; for hygienic reasons, only cards.” This seemed like a courageous hygienic platform to stand on. Impressed for sure, but I suspect that this phenomenon is currently in use elsewhere in the states. The Flemish Bread House - A selection of homemade sourdough breads made with whole grain flour and various herbs, homemade herb butters, pesto, one red and blue fruit tart, and two authentic mint teas, complemented our long and very enjoyable lunch. Fortunately, by the time we were ready to leave, the sun did its best to come out and the rain stopped.

(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Monday, 01 March 2021

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