Kröller-Müller Museum Review
Many connoisseurs ranks this as the third-most-important museum of art in the Netherlands, after the Rijksmuseum and the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Opened in 1938, it is the repository of a remarkable private collection of late-19th-century and early-20th-century paintings, the nucleus of which are 91 paintings and 175 works on paper by Van Gogh (about 50 of which rotate on display at any given time) that, when combined with the collection in the Amsterdam museum, constitutes nearly an eye-popping four-fifths of his entire oeuvre. Hélène Kröller, née Müller, had a remarkable eye as well as a sixth sense about which painters created art for the ages and through her family firm, run by her husband, the means to bankroll it. For Vincent, fame came too late; for the Kröller-Müllers, however, their great Van Gogh holdings helped make this museum world-famous.
But Hélène Kröller-Müller was not myopic in her appreciation and perception. She augmented her collection of Van Goghs with works by Georges Seurat, Pable Picasso, Odile Redon, Georges Braque, and Piet Mondriaan. The museum also contains 16th- and 17th-century Dutch paintings, ceramics, Chinese and Japanese porcelains, and contemporary sculpture. The building itself, designed by Henry Van de Velde, artfully brings nature into the galleries through its broad windows, glass walkways, and patios. The gardens and woods around the museum form a stunning open-air gallery, the largest in Europe with a collection of 20th-century sculptures that include works by Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, Barbara Hepworth, Alberto Giacometti, and Jean Dubuffet. There is a gift shop and self-service restaurant on-site.
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