EA Tours Blog
Museum Monday: Rijksmuseum.
Hello educational travelers and welcome back to the Tour Director blog!
I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing weekend. As I’m sure many of you are aware, student tour season is in high gear. Here at EA Tours, we are busy than can be with making sure everything is running smoothly and all of our students, teachers, and parents have a wonderful educational tour.
Just a couple weeks ago, the President of EA Tours and my awesome Dad had the rare privilege of leading one of our educational student tours to the Netherlands, Norway, and Russia with Georgetown Prep out of Washington, D.C.
Sounds like an exciting trip huh?
In between city hopping, the group set out for full days of sightseeing. They soaked up the vastly different cultures through world-renowned museums and landmarks, fabulous food, music and festivals unique to the region, and a little retail therapy. With so much to see and do, the group didn’t want to waste a minute of their precious educational tour. Starting their journey off in Amsterdam, a city that’s filled with exciting things to see and experience, the Georgetown Prep student tour set out to see one of the most famous museums in the world, the Rijksmuseum.
With Amsterdam home to an abundance of world-class museums, students tours will never run out of educational places of interest. There’s a museum to intrigue every educational traveler, often making it hard to choose which ones to visit. However, you do know that you’ll be kept busy, and happy to hear that what makes all of these museums even better is that plenty of them are easily accessible on foot. Score!
We now return to our regularly scheduled look at the Rijksmuseum in greater detail.
A delicious treat for art-lovers, the Rijksmuseum is one of the more visited museums in all the Netherlands. Making it a worthy highlight on any educational student tour. Rijksmuseum is the general Dutch name for a national museum. Located on the Museumplein, or Museum Square, the Rijksmuseum houses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art. Originally founded in the Hague in 1800, the Rijksmuseum later moved to Amsterdam in 1808. Having previously been in several other locations throughout the city, the building you see today was designed by famed architect Pierre Cuypers and opened its doors in 1885.
Housing masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer, the Rijksmuseum has made a name for itself as the largest art museum in the country. The astonishing pieces of artistry on display for visitors to admire measure 8,000; however, the museum’s collection contains more than 1 million objects representing the very best in arts, crafts, and history ranging from the Middle Ages to present day (1200-2000). The crown jewel of the museum though are the more than 2,000 paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. The following are some of my unmissable Rijksmuseum highlights that shouldn’t be missed on your educational student tour.
-The building itself.
The architect was criticized for the building being more on the Renaissance and Gothic side and not having enough Dutch qualities. When admiring the building, see if you can spot Cuypers as one of the stone sculptures. Hint: he’s peeking around the corner.
Known for its magical acoustics, the passageway outside the museum is quite charming.
–The Night Watch. Rembrandt, 1642.
Hailing as his most famous and largest piece of work, Rembrandt became the first artist to paint a group of lively figures in a portrait setting. Though gorgeous to look at, the painting has sadly seen the hand of vandalism twice before. The first was in 1975 with a butter knife, and the second was in 1990 with sprayed acid. Thankfully, the painting was restored under the careful hands of a trained art restorer to its former glory.
–The Milkmaid. Vermeer, 1660.
Known as Vermeer’s most famous work, The Milkmaid portrays someone who is focused solely on the task at hand. The painting is still except for the stream of milk flowing from the jug. Vermeer was so skilled at using color, the he tricked the viewers’ eyes into making the fluids appear full of motion.
Students and teachers can expect much more though beside the incredible works of art. Delftware, sculptures, archaeological artifacts, clothing, Asian art, prints, items from Dutch maritime history, and so many more objects of cultural significance are on display covering a range of 800 years of Dutch history. When you’ve had your fill of art, head outside to the gardens for some rest, relaxation, and a little contemplation of all that you’ve just seen.
As you can see, there’s a lot for a student tour to encounter when visiting Amsterdam’s famed Rijksmuseum. Simply put, an educational tour isn’t complete without an afternoon spent wondering the museum’s impressive halls and admiring the countless works of art on display. I hope you’ll join EA Tours on a trip to Amsterdam in the future to see the Rijksmuseum in all its grandeur. Who knows you may even have my Dad as your tour leader!
Until next time, have a wonderful Monday,