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Leicester, United Kingdom
August 4, 2007
When visiting Amsterdam Historical Museum look at the building itself from outside first. This complex dates back to 15th century when it served as an orphanage. It was extended in 17th century when the city was blooming the most and gained its riches in trade. 17th century became know as golden age and some of the most interesting exhibits come from this period. However, the museum shows all from real beginning and drying the area to building this city below the sea level.
There are countless fascinating details about this old city and its people. The collection consists of paintings, prints, marquettes, objects, and archaeological finds, and shows how Amsterdam grew from a small medieval town to a world famous centre. The permanent exhibition, which is continually being added to with temporary exhibitions, also has a important selection of porcelain and silver.
Walking through the museum could be a bit of maze as you keep going up and down the stairs around complex's inner courtyards. Fortunately different periods are clearly signposted so you can choose which period you want to visit and you can find it easily. You can also take a Grand Tour through Amsterdam's entire history, with a multimedia map.
The two museum entrances can be accessed from Kalverstraat 92, Sint Luciënsteeg 27 and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357. The museum is a twelve-minute walk from Amsterdam's Central Station, via Damrak, Dam Square and Kalverstraat.For more details, opening hours and entrance fee visit www.ahm.nl.
From journal Contrasts of Amsterdam
May 16, 2003
The photos in this exhibit are in the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam (Municipal Archives), and were selected from both documentary and historical photo assignments. The interactive program has commentary only in Dutch, though explanatory notes for the photographs are in both Dutch and English. In the explanatory notes at the beginning of the exhibit, the following quote caught my eye: ". . . Changes occur slowly in everyday life. Only with hindsight does the picture become clear. You can’t capture time."
Some photographers whose works are displayed are Dirk de Herder, Jan Versnal, Vojta Dukat, and Jos Houweling. Houweling did a wonderful series from 1977 called, "Street Refuse". This was his offering to the 100th anniversary of the Dienst Stadsreinging (Sanitation Department). He used a collage approach, with one piece being articles of clothing, another showing combs, and the most interesting one showing ice cream and ice cream cones, broken, partially melted and discarded. Another photographer, Advan Denderen, spent some time voluntarily incarcerated in prison to get close to detainees and photograph them. Theo Baart did a compelling series on cemeteries. Another favorite of mine in the exhibit was Kees Scherer’s "Stationsplein", a 1955 silver gelatin print of Amsterdamers frantically rushing for trams . . . and this hasn’t changed almost 50 years later.
From journal Dutch Beer and Tulips
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 10, 2005
The cost is reasonable at €6, with concessions for children and seniors.
The museum is housed in buildings, which once comprised the City Orphanage. Through the main-entry archway and to our left is a computer-generated exhibit called "Growth of the City." It's fascinating. Don't miss it.
We just follow the signs in Dutch and English to see everything we want to see. The explanations are in both languages. The galleries are user-friendly and contain artifacts, exhibits, and paintings, including a Rembrandt, "The Anatomy Lesson."
I learn a lot, not only about Amsterdam and how it grew, but also about the history of Holland and its relation to the rest of Europe. I'm especially impressed with the 17th-century and WWII sections.
I may overrate this place because I love the study of history. However, my wife, Pam, who is not all that interested in history, enjoyed our visit very much, so I'm going for a top recommendation.
You can learn much more and take a virtual tour of the museum at http://www.ahm.nl/emuseum.php. The website is in both Dutch and English.
From journal Amsterdam - City of Art, History, and Contrasts
Carshalton, United Kingdom
August 27, 2006
From journal Amsterdam - Kick Off Your Shoes and Kick Up Your H
by Dr. RingDing
Little Rock, Arkansas
January 18, 2004
As the Rough Guide to Amsterdam book notes, however, "it's a garbled collection, lacking continuity." While the museum's exhibits are displayed chronologically, making your way through them is somewhat challenging. My experience was that there was a conspicuous gap in exhibits between 1700 and 1940, and it's likely that I got confused as I was moving through the displays.
I was disappointed that the contemporary exhibits were presented exclusively in Dutch, and as a result, the concluding section of the museum was merely a quick walk-through. This situation made for a strange overall experience, and felt like I pressed a history "fast-forward" button. One minute I was proceeding though the 1700s, and the next minute I was searching through post-World War II Dutch-language exhibits and searching for the exit.
From journal Amsterdam New and Updated for 2004!