Some weeks ago I had a day off. I had to go out and do something else so I packed my things, grabbed my camera and biked to Amsterdam’s city centre. There I felt like visiting a museum for a change. I had not visited a museum out of curiosity in years but after the drag of working long shifts I had to do something else. So yeah Van Gogh, Stedelijk or Rijksmuseum it was that moment.
I went to the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum is the kind of place every Dutch kid visits at least once in their life to look at Rembrandt paintings and to absorb what makes Dutch culture Dutch. What makes the Dutch culture Dutch is like explaining why we consume so much dairy and potatoes. Try “hutspot” on a cold day. Once you appreciate it you understand it and old Dutch art gives you some glimpses of what makes the Netherlands unique.
Either way I entered the museum, left my coat and bag at the wardrobe and took my camera with me. After much fiddling I finally solved some camera issues so I could take some good pictures. I had an hour to get lost and find the exit again. Having entered with void expectations I was overwhelmed by everything. Finding my way through the wings I discovered that I could still appreciate art like a novice.
This made me think of when I first visited Artis and the V.O.C. Museum at the eastern docks. I checked the maps made the round to the famous “Nachtwacht” and headed back to fetch my coat and bag. Coat and bag in hand went to the bar and ordered a coffee and a muffin. Sitting in this cathedral of art I waited for my coffee and snack reading a book.
Then the muffin arrived. I fell silent for a moment and decided to take a picture there and then. Sure I made the obligatory round to photograph the “Nachtwacht” but then I am presented with a muffin on a shiny gold coloured saucer.
The Rijksmuseum really flatters the visitor. Not my favourite museum but to be presented a muffin on a gold saucer in a cathedral of art, yes I can appreciate that. Very worthy of a story…