Superb museum shops in Holland
1) De Kunsthal
Rotterdam’s Kunsthal was the first of its kind in the Netherlands when it opened in the early nineties: it has 33.000 square metres of exhibition space but no collection of its own. The centre organises between 20 and 30 temporary exhibitions here every year, and the selection in the museum shop reflects this. The shop is located between the entrance and the restaurant, in an iconic building by the Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas.
The Rijksmuseum is in a league of its own. Its collection includes some of the most famous works from the Dutch Golden Age and plenty of Asian art. The museum shop has an amazing selection of goodies including socks with Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, as well as home accessories and replicas of famous works. The ‘Rijks’ runs the Museum Shop in Museumplein together with the nearby Van Gogh Museum.
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You don’t need to buy a ticket to visit the shop of the Bonnefantenmuseum, which stocks a good selection of art books and accessories. But you really should visit this beautifully located building by Aldo Rossi with its good collection of old and modern art. The Bonnefantenmuseum regularly hosts sensational exhibitions by acclaimed artists such as Grayson Perry, Melanie Bonajo or David Lynch.
4) Stedelijk Museum
Not everyone took a shining to the striking newbuild, with which the Stedelijk Museum more than doubled its exhibition space a few years ago. The locals soon took to calling it ‘the bath tub’. Regardless of what you think of it, the ‘Stedelijk’ is still a great museum, where you can see art and design masterpieces of the 20th and 21st century. The museum shop stocks a wide range of books on art, design and photography.
5) Museum Voorlinden
The Voorlinden shop is almost as much fun as the museum itself. It’s a great place to shop for gifts or a little memento of your visit, that stocks an extensive collection of books and design objects.
6) Groninger Museum
The unique post-modern building of the Groninger Museum is an attraction in itself, with its large golden tower and colourful, overhanging pavilions. The Italian architect Alessandro Mendini designed a museum that allowed various designers to create pavilions to exhibit the museum’s diverse collection (from archaeology and painting to design). The selection of items in the colourful museum shop, which was designed by Groningenbased Vorm Martini, is just as eclectic as the building and the collection.
7) Centraal Museum
The Centraal Museum has something for everyone, including the remnants of a Viking ship, furniture by Rietveld and striking works by the renaissance artist Jan van Scorel, the magical realist Pyke Koch and the surrealist Joop Moesman. The Nijntje Museum on the opposite of the street is very popular with children. The museum shop stocks a wide range of books and gadgets that refer to the temporary exhibitions and plenty of gadgets featuring Dick Bruna’s world-famous white bunny rabbit.
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