on April 9, 2008
The Van Gogh Museum was a very interesting experience. Even if you are not a huge fan of art it is worth a trip just to pay homage and learn a little bit about one of the most famous painters of all time.The museum is about a 20 minute walk from Dam Square or the Red Light District where most people tend to stay. It is located on museum square, a big open space that was recently redesigned into an expansive public plaza. It is a large park like setting with benches and fountains and we sat out here for a while just taking in the scene before going into the actual museum. Bring a couple of beers or some lunch and just sit and enjoy the people watching for a little while if you have time. I believe tickets to the museum were about 10 euro when we went in June. We forgot our student IDs but if you have one there were definately the usual discounts for students, kids, seniors etc. The nice thing about this museum was the lack of massive crowds. It was the only museum that we went to where we didn't feel like herded cattle. Right to the ticket window and through a simple security check and we were in. The artwork on display was suprisingly varied for what we expected. All of us were unaware how prolific Van Gogh was and how varied the subjects of his work were. There are very detailed descriptions of all the works and they really paint a full picture of Van Gogh's life. Sections of the museum are divided both by the style and type of the artwork as well as by the periods of Van Gogh's life.I know that the museum has rotating displays from the brochure but there are a large number of paintings, letters, sketches and drawings on permanent display. The paintings included a number of self portraits in addition to a vast array of still lifes and landscapes. The famous "Sunflowers" painting is located in this museum which was really interesting to see. It is always fun to see a piece of art in person that you have seen pictures of your whole life. It is important to note that "Starry Night" is NOT at the Van Gogh Museum despite being pictured in the museum brochure. We spent the whole time looking for it and never found it. It is probably Van Gogh's most famous painting so be forewarned if that is your motivating factor for a trip to the museum. There are also a number of works scattered throughout the museum by other artists, some of whom I'd heard of and some not. For only 10 euros and an hour or two of your time this is a worthwhile experience and shouldn't be missed.
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