Nijmegen ca. 37km
Nijmegen, German Nimwegen, in Nimwegian: Nimwèège , is a Hanseatic city with 166,369 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2013). It is located in the east of the Netherlands in the province of Gelderland near the border with the German region of Lower Rhine. Nijmegen was the most important of the four main towns in the county of Guelders, and in 1402 Nijmegen became a member of the Hanseatic League.The Latin name Noviomagus derives from the Celtic words magos for plain or market and novio new. The Romans Latinized it to Noviomagus. In Charlemagne’s time the place was called Numaga, which changed over time to Nieumeghen or Nimmegen (see also the German Neumagen). Some locals do not call their town Nijmegen, but Nimwège.
- Museum het Valkhof, Kelfkensbos 59, Nijmegen more information
- Africa Museum, Postweg 66571, Berg en Dal more information
- Museum de Stratemakerstoren, 83-84, Nijmegen more information
- National Liberation Museum, Wijlerbaan 4, Groesbeek more information
- Museum Kasteel Wijchen, Kasteellaan 9, Wijchen more information
Arnhem ca. 36km
Arnhem originated on a hill near the IJssel at the crossroads of the trade routes between Utrecht, Nijmegen and Zutphen. Only since the change of the course of the Rhine around 1500 has Arnhem been situated on this river.
In 1233, Count Otto of Gelre granted Arnhem city rights. In the 15th century, the city had about 4000 inhabitants and received city walls and towers for defense. The city belonged to the Duchy of Guelders and became Habsburg in 1472, before joining the Republic of the Netherlands. Arnhem was occupied by French troops in the Dutch War from 1672 to 1674, as well as in the Coalition Wars from 1795 to 1813, with Arnhem being the capital of the Yssel-Supérieur department from 1811. In 1813 the city was liberated by Prussian troops and reverted to the Netherlands.
Around 1850, about 9000 people lived in Arnhem. At that time, the region around Arnhem and Nijmegen became a popular residence of the upper middle classes from the western provinces of the Netherlands. As a result, prestigious parks were created, to which the city still owes the nickname “Park City”. Parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal (in the north of the city) characterize the cityscape.
In 1929, KEMA, the Dutch Electrical Industry Testing Institute, was founded in Arnhem.
During World War II, Allied forces attempted to capture the Arnhem Bridge over the Rhine in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden in order to clear a path to Germany. However, in one of their last victorious battles, the Wehrmacht won the battle, contributing to the failure of the Allied Operation Market Garden. As a result of this battle, the city was severely damaged. After the battle, the Wehrmacht forced the then 95,000 inhabitants to leave the city.
On September 16, 1978, the oldest and most famous bridge over the Rhine was renamed John Frost Bridge, after the British colonel who in 1944, during the unsuccessful offensive, commanded that battalion that was the only one to reach the bridge and defended the northern part for four days. A memorial plaque commemorates the battle and its many victims.
After the war, a dynamic reconstruction followed. The city’s population continues to grow to this day.
Arnhem is the only city in the Netherlands to have a trolleybus network (trolleybus Arnhem), which today gives the city the nickname “Trolleystad”.
Kröller-Müller Museum ca. 54km
Born in Horst near Essen, Helene Müller was the daughter of a steel industrialist who also had business connections in the Netherlands through his trading company. In 1888, she married Anton Kröller (1862-1941), the younger brother of the head of the Rotterdam office of the shipping company Wm. H. Müller & Co. in Rotterdam and moved to The Hague. Here she attended lessons on art history with the renowned art historian H.P. Bremmer from 1907. Bremmer remained her most important advisor in artistic matters throughout her life and provided the main impetus for the development of the collection.The first significant purchases were three works by Vincent van Gogh in 1909: “Sunflowers”, “The Sowers” and “Still Life with Bottle and Lemon”. In a short time, Mrs. Kröller-Müller’s collection grew, with her buying not only from dealers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France, but, as with Paul Signac, directly from the artists’ studios. During a stay in Florence in 1910, in view of the Medici legacy, she first had the idea of showing her collection to the public in a house of her own. She opened her first private museum in the Lange Voorhout I house in The Hague. For a new building, long discussions took place with various architects about designs, none of which came to fruition. Only after the collection, which in the meantime consisted of more than 4000 drawings, 275 sculptures and several hundred paintings, came into the possession of the Dutch state as a donation in 1935, was the core of the present museum building east of Otterlo built as a temporary solution. The original collection was only slightly expanded after the death of the collector. In 1961, with the inauguration of a sculpture park, a new area of work for the museum was created.
The first architect commissioned by the Kröller-Müller couple to design a building for the collection was Peter Behrens. In 1911, he designed the Ellenwoude country house in Wassenaar, which was conceived as a residential building with a large gallery wing. This cubic building had a representative effect and possessed a clear, classical design. After the submitted drawings did not convince Mrs. Kröller-Müller, a full-size model made of wood and canvas was created on the building site, but this led to a change of architect.
Now, Behrens’ collaborator Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was initially commissioned to build Ellenwoude, although at the insistence of advisor H.P. Bremmer, Hendrik Petrus Berlage was also invited to submit designs. Both architects presented their designs in 1912, and Mies van der Rohe’s design was also built as a full-scale model. However, neither design was executed. While the couple parted ways with Mies van der Rohe, Berlage was now given his own office above Mrs. Kröller-Müller’s museum rooms in The Hague.
Hunting Lodge St. Hubertus
After purchasing the Hoge Veluwe in the province of Gelderland as a hunting and riding area for the Kröller-Müllers, the couple now decided on two new buildings here: a hunting lodge and, a short distance away at the French Mountain, a separate museum building, both of which Berlage was to design. The St. Hubertus hunting lodge was built starting in 1914, but could not be completed until 1920 due to the First World War and the resulting shortage of materials. From 1916, Berlage then worked on the designs for the museum to be built near the French Mountain. Shortly thereafter, the architect and the collector fell out, and in 1919 the collector commissioned Henry van de Velde with designs for a museum at the Französischer Berg. The latter had already built a highly regarded museum for the collector Karl Ernst Osthaus in Hagen.
Van de Velde’s design for the Kröller-Müllers met with the approval of the collector. The construction, estimated at 6 million guilders, was begun in 1921. A year later, however, when the substructure had already been completed, the international recession and the associated economic difficulties of the Kröller-Müller couple led to the Construction stop. This building was never finished.
The hunting lodge and the entire area of the Hoge Veluwe were transferred to a foundation in 1935, while the art collection was given to the Dutch state. This donation was made on the condition that a museum for the art collection should be built on the territory of the Hoge Veluwe within five years under the direction of the architect Henry van de Velde. A temporary museum designed by van de Velde was built between 1937 and 1938 as a government job-creation measure, not at the original site on the French Mountain, but in a wooded area a little further south. This simple building is still the core of the museum today and houses the collection. An extension built in 1972-1977 was designed by the Dutch architect Wim G. Quist. It houses rooms for temporary exhibitions and the museum café.
The core of the museum collection is formed by the paintings and drawings collected by Helene Kröller-Müller with the help of H.P. Bremmer between 1908 and 1922, with the extensive holdings of works by Vincent van Gogh being a highlight. Mrs. Kröller-Müller’s collection consists predominantly of works of art that were created during her own lifetime and which at that time had not yet received general recognition or had been judged negatively by art critics. With the purchase of a first cubist painting by Juan Gris in 1913, the collection developed into one of the first important modern art collections in the world.
In her book Betrachtungen über Probleme in der Entwicklung der modernen Malerei (Reflections on Problems in the Development of Modern Painting), published in 1925, the collector explained that her aim was to present the overall impression of developments in painting. For this reason, Helene Kröller-Müller also acquired ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, Siamese, Javanese and Greek sculptures and ceramics, as well as individual paintings from the 15th to 17th centuries. Examples of these paintings include The Adoration of the Magi from the circle of Giovanni di Paolo, a portrait of the Lady of Westerbug by Bartholomew Bruyn the Elder, and The Breakfast by Floris van Schooten.
The museum has a larger selection of works of French realism. These include Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s landscape painting View of Soissons, Gustave Courbet’s Portrait of Mrs. Jolicler, Henri Fantin-Latour’s Still Life with Flowerpot, Pears, and Pomegranates, Jean-François Millet’s Woman Baking Bread, and Adolphe Joseph Monticelli’s Flower Arrangement. From the same period, Dutch painters Matthijs Maris with The Spinner and Johan Barthold Jongkind with Fishing Boat on the Beach can be seen in the museum.
At the beginning of the collection of modern painting are works of Impressionism. Édouard Manet’s early work Portrait of a Man from 1860 marks the beginning. From Claude Monet the museum shows The Painter’s Boat (which the artist had built in order to be able to paint the landscape directly in nature from the water). From the same painter is also a portrait of Guurtje Van de Stadt. Also on display are two works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In addition to a small oil sketch The Café, the museum owns one of the artist’s most important works, a life-size depiction of a clown. In the succession of Impressionism are the works Waldrand by Paul Gauguin and Der Weg am See by Paul Cézanne.
The important group of works by Vincent van Gogh includes all creative phases of the artist. Still from the Dutch period are Loom with Weaver, Birds’ Nests and a version of The Potato Eaters. From the painter’s Parisian period, which was influenced by Impressionism, the museum owns Moulin de la Galette, Pastureland and Interior of a Restaurant. The most famous work in the Kröller-Müller Museum is certainly a version of Café Terrace in the Evening from the time of the Arles stay by van Gogh. From this period, the museum also has a self-portrait, the view of Les Saintes-Maries, hay stacks in Provence, wicker with setting sun, a version of La Berceuse and still life with drawing board and onions. Already belonging to the period in St. Rémy are Cornfield with Mower and Sun and Grass and Tree Trunks, while Landscape with Trees is an example of his work in Auvers. In addition to numerous other paintings, the museum also has an extensive collection of drawings by the artist, which are repeatedly shown in special exhibitions.
Pointillism, which developed in parallel, can also be seen in the museum with the most important artists. From Georges Seurat are The Port of Honfleur, The Chahut, The Canal of Gravelines and Sunday in Port-en-Bessin in the museum. Also on view are Family in an Orchard by Théo van Rysselberghe and The Breakfast by Paul Signac. Examples of Symbolist painting include April by Maurice Denis, The Cyclops by Odilon Redon or The Revenge of the Fool Hop-Frog by James Ensor. Paintings by turn-of-the-century Dutch artists in the museum include Madonna in Tulipland by Johan Thorn-Prikker and The Sea by Jan Toorop.
Pablo Picasso’s 1901 painting The Madrid Woman kicks off works from the 20th century. This painting, still influenced by older painting styles, contrasts with the gouache Standing Nude, influenced by African art, which hints at Cubism. Cubism, which was particularly appreciated by Helene Kröller-Müller, can be seen in the museum with works by all the important representatives of this style. By Pablo Picasso there is the painting The Violin, by Juan Gris a Still Life with Oil Lamp, Collage with Fruit Bowl and Carafe and Still Life with Carafe and Lemon, and by Fernand Léger Three Nudes in a Forest and The Typographer. Initially, Ms. Kröller-Müller was equally enthusiastic about Piet Mondrian, whose works Composition XI, Composition in Line and Color, Composition No. 10, and Composition in Diamonds are in the collection. Mondrian’s turn towards abstraction, on the other hand, was not followed by the collector, who also did not include works by other artists of this art movement, such as Wassily Kandinsky, in the collection. Other developments such as Expressionism and Surrealism also did not find favor with the collector and are missing from the museum today. On the other hand, Helene Kröller-Müller was a great patron of Bart van der Leck, from whom the museum owns 42 paintings and around 400 drawings.
The donation of Helene Kröller-Müller’s collection to the Dutch state was subject to numerous conditions, which not only included the establishment of a museum, but also committed to the permanent exhibition of the works and concerned arrangements for the care and acquisition of further works. After the collector’s death, therefore, only a few paintings were added to the museum. The collection does not claim to provide a comprehensive overview of art history, but specializes in certain periods.
After the Second World War, a new focus emerged with the collection of contemporary sculpture and object art. Building on individual non-European sculptures from the Kröller-Müller Collection, the museum shows small sculptures, sculptures, installations and objects of the most diverse trends since the beginning of the 20th century. On view are Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio by Umberto Boccioni, EOS IX by Jean Tinguely, Sailor with Guitar by Jacques Lipchitz, The Prayer by Julio González, five smaller sculptures by Hans Arp, Space Composition 4 by Katarzyna Korbo, and Structurist Relief by Charles Biederman. Also on view are Torso:Clementius by Ossip Zadkine and several works by Barbara Hepworth. Louise Nevelson’s work Heavenly Cathedral III is on view at the museum, and by Carl André the museum owns Henge on Threshold (Meditation on the year 1960). The collection also features Relief R 71-4 by Jan Schoonhoven, Relief: Clear Relations by Jesús Rafael Soto, Sphère-trame by François Morellet and an untitled brass work by Donald Judd. Other well-known artists from the second half of the 20th century include Christo with a work called Empaquetage, Mario Merz with the work Prehistoric Wind from Icy Mountains, Richard Long with the installation Stone Line, and Dan Flavin with the light sculpture Quietly to the Memory of Mia Visser.
This section of the museum is enriched by a large number of drawings, some of which the sculptors made as preparatory work for the sculptures or which represent sketches for works that were not executed. These include works by Alberto Giacometti, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, Christo and Panamarenko.
L’Air by Aristide Maillol
Helene Kröller-Müller had the first sculpture placed in the Hoge Veluwe Park as early as 1915. A monument to Christiaan de Wet by the sculptor Mendes da Costa was placed in the north of the grounds. The models for today’s sculpture park, however, are the sculpture exhibitions held since 1949 in London’s Battersea Park, the exhibitions shown since 1950 in Antwerp’s Middelheim Park, and the open-air exhibitions held since 1954 in Sonsbeek Park near Arnhem, a few kilometers from the Kröller-Müller Museum. Then in 1961, under the direction of Prof. J.T.P. Bijhouwer, the first section of the present Sculpture Park at the Kröller-Müller Museum was created, which has since grown to more than twenty-five hectares.
Two sculptural works of classical modernism kick off the work in the outdoor area. In addition to the bronze casting Woman in Squatting by Auguste Rodin is the lead casting The Air by Aristide Maillol. The museum has several bronze works by Chaim Lipchitz and Barbara Hepworth in the sculpture park. Made of iron beams is the work by Mark di Suvero called K Pieces, and the work by Richard Serra called Spin Out for Robert Smithson is made of three steel plates and frames the entrance to a small valley on the grounds. The installation Concetto spaziale nature by Lucio Fontana, consisting of five bronze spheres, is also on display, as well as the steel works Reel I by Phillip King and Säule by André Volten. Of the same material are the works Wandering rocks: dud, slide, crocus, shaft, smohawk by Tony Smith and Palisade by Evert Strobos. Directly from the sculpture exhibition in Arnhem-Sonsbeek, the museum was able to acquire Claes Oldenburg’s oversized trowel, over eleven meters high. In addition, the museum owns works by Kenneth Snelson, Cornelius Rogge, David van de Kop, Fritz Wotruba and Joep van Lieshout. Among the best-known works in the park is Jean Dubuffet’s 20 x 30 meter walk-in concrete sculpture Jardin d’émail. Outside the sculpture park proper, near the foundations of the museum building originally planned by van de Velde, stands Henry Moore’s sculpture group Three Standing Motifs.
Liberty Park Overloon ca. 77km
Bomber B-25 Mitchell in the Oorlogs- en Verzetsmuseum (1979)The museum was opened in 1946. It initially gathered war equipment from the Battle of Overloon (September 24-October 16, 1944) and displayed it on part of the former battlefield. Later it received exhibits from all over the country. In 1960, the museum received national status.
Initially, it was an open-air museum where the larger exhibits (tanks and the like) were displayed in a park-like setting. Over time, these large pieces were placed in buildings to protect them from the elements. In 2006, the exhibits of the Marshall Museum from Zwijndrecht were also moved to Overloon. In the extensive park of the museum there are also sculptures by well-known artists, which deal with the horrors of war.
Small submarine pig (1992)
The exhibition features, among other things, the occupation of the Netherlands and Dutch colonies by Germany and Japan during World War II, the Holocaust, the resistance movement, and the Battle of Overloon. Many exhibits are shown in large dioramas, such as the 1944 invasion. Exhibits include tanks, aircraft, submarines, small arms and equipment, and uniforms.
Diorama of the D-Day 1944
However, not only exhibits from World War II are on display, but also from the former Warsaw Pact and the modern Dutch Armed Forces. Furthermore, there are temporary exhibitions.
Website of the Liberty Park