A branch of the Frans Hals Museum, De Hallen has an extensive collection of Dutch Impressionists and Expressionists, including sculpture, textiles, and ceramics, as well as paintings and graphics. The complex consists of two buildings—the Vleeshal and the Verweyhal House.
The Vleeshal (Meat Market) building is one of the most interesting cultural legacies of the Dutch Renaissance, with a fine sweep of stepped gables that seems to pierce the scudding clouds.
It was built in 1602–03 by Lieven de Key, Haarlem's master builder. The ox heads that look down from the facade are reminders of the building's original function: it was the only place in Haarlem where meat could be sold, and the building was used for that sole purpose until 1840. Today it is used for exhibitions—generally works of modern and contemporary art, usually by local artists. Note the early landscape work by Piet Mondriaan, Farms in Duivendrecht, so different from his later De Stijl shapes.
The Verweyhal Gallery of Modern Art was built in 1879 as a gentlemen's club, originally named Trou moet Blijcken (Loyalty Must Be Proven), and now bears the name of native Haarlem artist Kees Verwey, who died in 1995. It is used as an exhibition space for selections from the Frans Hals Museum's enormous collection of modern and contemporary art. In addition to the works of Kees Verwey, the exhibition covers such artists as Jacobus van Looy, Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel, Herman Kruyder, and Karel Appel. Note, too, a fine collection of contemporary ceramics.