The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is easily the finest collection of modern art in the Netherlands, and one of the best in the world. The Stedelijk (which means Municipal in Dutch) was originally opened in 1895 and has its permanent home near the Rijksmuseum in the Museum District, but it’s undergoing a massive renovation so the collection is being housed in a former postal building next to Centraal Station. The renovation was originally schedule to be completed in 2008, but at the moment the promise to reopen in the new facility isn’t until the “end of 2009.” This is one of the more popular museums in Amsterdam, at least when it’s open.
New temporary location
UPDATE: The temporary location is now closed, and the Stedelijk is scheduled to reopen back in its Museumplein location at the end of 2009.
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The temporary location is obviously less convenient for anyone hoping to string a visit together with a stop into the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum, but being next to Centraal Station makes it far more convenient for anyone staying in the more affordable hotels in this area. The top floor of the current complex serves as both a restaurant/bar and a dance club, and views from Club 11, as this 11th floor facility is known, are some of the best in the city. Amsterdam is not known for observation decks, so this one overlooking both the heart of the center of the city as well as the river Ij, is getting rave reviews.
The other downside to the temporary relocation is that due to the inability to completely control the interior climate in the new complex, some of the more notable works are not being displayed. Paintings by Chagall and Picasso are among those being stored elsewhere as the renovation continues.
The main exhibits currently on display concentrate on the movements since 1968. The collection consists of modern paintings as well as photography, film, and video. The normal hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and admission is €9, with a half price option for those 16 and under or 65 and older. More details can be found on the official Stedelijk website.