visit our world class collection

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is a must-see. It is the most important museum of modern and contemporary art and design in the Netherlands. Situated on Museumplein, where it first opened in 1895, the Stedelijk rubs shoulders with the world-famous Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum — so you can see how “Museum Square” came by its name.

© Rineke Dijkstra, 2005
© Rineke Dijkstra, 2005

The historic Stedelijk building underwent extensive renovation, and has been expanded with the addition of a futuristic new wing. Affectionately known as “the bathtub” because of its smooth white exterior, the addition has been a huge hit with visitors since the museum’s reopening in 2012. 

The Stedelijk Museum is a landmark that, like Amsterdam itself, offers a fantastic mix of old and new, traditional and hip. Our collection contains extraordinary art by world-renowned artists, including a great numberof works by major twentieth-century Dutch artists.

A visit to the Stedelijk takes you on a historical journey through the last 150 years of art. We can’t wait to share our collection with you, and we’ve come up with eight good reasons why you should visit us. 

1. a worldclass collection

The Stedelijk has one of the world’s most important collections of modern and contemporary art and design, with 90,000 objects dating from 1870 to now. Our collection features key movements such as the Bauhaus, Amsterdam School,

De Stijl, CoBrA, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Minimal art, and Conceptual art; includes iconic works by Appel, Cézanne, Chagall, Dijkstra, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Kienholz, De Kooning, Koons, Matisse, Mondriaan, Picasso, Pollock, Rietveld, Sottsass, and Warhol; and boasts the largest collection of works by Malevich outside of Russia. There’s so much to see! 

2. confusingly beautiful

You often hear people say that modern art is confusing. We say, “confusingly beautiful.” And when you connect with an artwork–via its shape, inventiveness, workmanship, or bold originality–it’s unforgettable. Come see for yourself. Our tip: Stand before Barnett Newman’s Cathedra for an hour and lose yourself in its shimmering blue. 

3. art and gastronomy

Restaurant Stedelijk is a popular gathering spot open 7 days a week from 8:30 in the morning until midnight. You don’t need a museum ticket to relax here, enjoy refreshments outdoors, or take in Museumplein and Richard Serra’s extraordinary 11.5-meter-high steel sculpture Sight Point. Enjoy the view!

4. my kid could do that

Can your child make a masterpiece, too? Then bring your children or grandchildren to the place where inspiration is ignited, the Stedelijk’s Family Lab, and get busy with artistic experiments. You can take their creations home, or put them on display for others to discover. Isn’t that what every great artist does?

5. scandals and icons

Born and raised in Amsterdam, Karel Appel is one of the most significant Dutch artists of the twentieth century. He was a seminal figure in CoBrA, an important European art movement that emerged at the end of the 1940s, responding to the horrors of World War II with work expressing childish innocence. In 1949, a CoBrA group exhibition held at the Stedelijk stirred debate and controversy. But the scandals of one era are the classics of another, as you will see for yourself. 

6. a dutch american

Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam but emigrated illegally while still very young to the United States
in the 1920s. There, along with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, De Kooning became one of the founding artists of Abstract Expressionism. De Kooning’s incredible work deserves a gallery of its own at the Stedelijk. Here, with the breathtaking
Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point as its centerpiece, you can immerse yourself in his lyrical masterpieces. 

7. Dutch design paradise

The Stedelijk is also a design museum, and our collection traces the history of design from 1900 to the present with furniture, ceramics, posters, jewelry,and other objects. Among our most cherished pieces are examples of Italian and Scandinavian design and, of course, work by Dutch designers. And if you’re eager for more, drop in at the museum shop, where you’ll find the latest work by Dutch designers for sale at prices to suit all budgets. There’s something for everyone.

8. pop art is super popular

Pop art was a product of the turbulent 1960s, a “low-culture” movement fueled by advertising, television, and the unbridled consumerism dominating North American society. After scores of events and performances that artists dubbed “happenings,” Pop art itself became part of the establishment and is amply represented at the Stedelijk with works by famous names such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. BRATATATATA!