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Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (Hague Municipal Museum)
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (Hague Municipal Museum) Review
One of the finest examples of 20th-century museum architecture was designed by H. P. Berlage (the grand old master of modern Dutch architecture) and completed in 1935. Although the collection ranges from A to Z—Golden Age silver, Greek and Chinese pottery, historic musical instruments, and paintings by Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh—the museum is best known for the world's largest collection of works by Piet Mondriaan (1872–1944), the greatest artist of the Dutch De Stijl movement. The crowning masterpiece, and widely considered one of the landmarks of modern art, is Mondriaan's Victory Boogie Woogie—an iconic work, begun in 1942 but left unfinished at the artist's death. The painting's signature black-and-white grid interspersed with blocks of primary color arrived only in 1998, when the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage controversially paid 80 million guilders for the (then American-owned) work. Also be sure to see the dollhouse with real doll-size Delft Blue chinaware. Elsewhere, the museum's Costume Gallery contains no fewer than 55,000 items (not all are on display at one time!), providing endless inspiration for dedicated students of fashion.
As a bonus to visitors, the museum is also playing genial if temporary host to 100 or so works normally on show in the. Masterpieces by Rembrandt, Jan Steen, and Vermeer (including the latter's immortal View of Delft) will be displayed here until renovation work at the latter is completed in mid-2014.
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