I love to visit museums. And I am not the only one. Most of the museums in the Netherlands receive between 1.000 and 10.000 visitors each year.* But many art museums welcome many more. Which doors do we, art lovers, turn most?
Well, our Rijksmuseum hosts most visitors, pride of the Netherlands. This historical art and history museum received over 2.2 million people in 2013!* Part of this impressive number is explained by the great opening of the renovated building in 2013. The museum has an excellent marketing strategy; there was no one who could possibly miss out on the great re-opening. And of course, the building is a huge draw simply because it is beautiful. Therefore you can have great time here even if you are not a complete art-o-fiel. This explains why so many are drawn to it.
If we look at the second runner up, it seems visitors love the Dutch celebs : the Van Gogh Museum attracted 1.4 million admirers in 2013.* The museum offers the same ingredients as the Rijksmuseum: well-known Dutch art in downtown Amsterdam. It seems a successful recipe. Surely many of their visitors are tourists as Schiphol ushers planeloads to nearby Amsterdam. It is Holland’s cultural center, after all. And now you are here, you want to add the great names to your birthday-bragging-list, don’t you?
Well the third place to complete that list is nearby: the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. This contemporary art museum had 700.000 visitors in 2013.* Its list of classics is shorter and it has less history and architecture to entertain you. That’s why the real art-lovers want to come here and the so-so interested rather make a trip to the local market. Or to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh, of course!
Alright, so I want to share one more number just to take this article out of Amsterdam. The 4th art museum of this moment is the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. In 2013 it received 489.000 visitors. Be it a coincidence or not, here you can see works by famous Dutch artists like Mondriaan. Actually, the spot might be taken over by the Mauritshuis from 2014 on. This house of the great Dutch masters (yes, all of them!) was closed in 2013 but re-opened recently. And part of its collection was on display in the Gemeentemuseum in the meanwhile.