On my biking tour of Amsterdam I passed Museumplein, the square that is home to three major museums in Amsterdam, and made a mental note to check it out later. Well…my ulterior motive was to get a picture with the “I amsterdam” sign located in the square! But I found so much more:
I first approached Rijksmuseum upon arrival. It is the national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.
I briefly went inside and couldn’t believe what I saw:
I was seeing this weird cow sculpture everywhere! I saw first it at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Then I learned that the sculptor Joan Miro was from Barcelona – so can you guess what I saw when I was in Spain? Yeeeep.
I didn’t wander inside Rijksmuseum because I was ultimately there for this:
Seeing how I walked all the way to Museumplein from Bloemenmarkt, I was grateful for the garden outside the museum as a nice place to cool off and rest my feet.
The place was also great for people-watching! Especially the folks who attempted to run through the fountain without getting wet…
A bit further down and I saw this entire row of Miffy bunnies!!
Holy, I was stoked, because I loved my Miffy stationery! I always stock up on pens, pencils, and erasers with this little bunny on them whenever I go to China. But all this time, I had no idea that Miffy was created by the Dutch artist Dick Bruna for his son in 1955. Hard to believe this bunny is older than me – she’s celebrating her 60th birthday this year!
Next, I hit up the Van Gogh Museum. I must also embarrassingly admit that I didn’t know Vincent was Dutch. Dang, Netherlands! Producing all these great artists!
I was in there for only an hour (until closing), but should’ve budgeted more time to browse this museum. I loved it! They had so many of his paintings, from ones created in the early days to some of his “greats” (Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters). It was fascinating to walk through all three stories of the museum, because looking at the paintings was like looking into Van Gogh’s (tragic) life. It was so neat to find out that he studied in Montmarte, because I was there while on this trip! That excited feeling of “hey, I was there!” or “I saw that in person!” is one of the coolest things I’ve experienced from travelling.
Then I stumbled upon The Bedroom. What I couldn’t understand was, if I saw The Bedroom in the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam, what did I see in the Art Institute of Chicago? Was that one a fake, a copy? Or was the original on loan in Chicago when I saw it last year? I’m still puzzled…
So the only museum that I didn’t see was Stedelijk Museum, the museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design. I thought I wouldn’t have enough to do in this small(er) city, but I was proved wrong! Should I visit Amsterdam again, I’d want to spend quality time in each of these museums and learn more about the city and country that have so far been elusive to me.
Have you been to Amsterdam? What are your favorite things to do there?
Thanks for reading!