{Netherlands} Museum in an Airport

August 20, 2011


I attended an international museum conference in the middle of my honeymoon, it therefore probably won’t surprise you that I squeezed in a quick museum visit on route to emigrating from Scotland to Germany. If you’re flying via Schiphol, Amsterdam, it’s easily done as they have a museum inside the airport! Actually, it’s an annexe of the Rijksmuseum, and with just the one exhibition room it’s fairly small – in fact, the accompanying gift shop was probably bigger than the museum itself – but it’s still a fun idea and a nice way to spend some of your stop over. On this occasion, our stop over wasn’t that long and, had he been with us, my husband would probably have had a nervous breakdown as I was cutting it very close getting us to the gate in time for boarding (whereas he’d be there a day before if he could), but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass by to check out their latest offering.

The museum has a permanent exhibition, ‘The Golden Age’, featuring a cross section of works by Dutch Masters from the 17th century – from portraits of girls, and blue and white tiles with sailing ships, to paintings of farm animals – and also shows temporary exhibitions three times a year. Currently on display is ‘Dutch Flowers’, showing until 5 September, with nine flower paintings that used to adorn the Dutch homes in the 17th century, when paintings like these were very much in vogue. The next exhibition after that, running from 7 September until 12 December, will be ‘Dutch Girls’, featuring 17th century portraits of women. They also have a model of the Rijksmuseum Main Building (on a scale of 1:200).

Rijksmuseum Schiphol opened in December 2002 and is a joint venture between the Rijksmuseum and Schiphol Airport. According to their website, “the Rijksmuseum is the first museum in the world to have an annexe in an airport and Schiphol is the first airport to have  a museum in its terminal”. Past exhibitions have included Winter in Holland, Books in the Age of Rembrandt,  and Dutch Cows. The museum is open daily from 6am until 8pm and entry is free. Exhibition panels are in Dutch and English.

They may have been the first, but do you know of any other museums in airports?

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