Lynn and I went here this past weekend. It was an hour and a half away from the Hague, but the weather was (uncharacteristically) beautiful and we had a nice drive out to the east of the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the eastern part of the country is much less densely populated and is also the farm area. It has the same kind of internal reputation that Americans might give to Kansas or Iowa or the mid-West in general: flat, boring, populated with small towns, more religoius than average (which in the Netherlands means Protestant).
The museum was built in 1938 on land that was made into a national park by the government, and using the collection of a lady from the Hague from whom the museum takes its name (full history). It’s not an especially large museum, it’ll take you maybe 1.5-2 hours to see everything, but what’s really striking is the fact that out here in the middle of a national park, in the middle of the eastern part of the country, there is a building that houses a good number of works from very famous painters and sculptors.
There are over 270 paintings and drawings by van Gogh (including some of his most famous), a number of works by Seurat, Gaugin, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Mondriaan, and many many others. It’s amazing to think that these fantastic pieces of art are just sitting out here in the middle of the woods.
I’m not kidding. There is a long road through the park that leads from the parking lot to the museum. The museum provides free white bicycles that you can use to get around, and we saw some of the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen in the Netherlands (a country not usually renowned for its geographic beauty).
I was particularly captivated by the clouds that day. It’s easy to see why so many prominent Dutch painters are proficient with this aspect of nature, considering how many cloudy days there are per year.
The final thing to mention about the museum is the sculpture garden. While it isn’t as exciting as the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, it’s still a very nicely designed walk with some very interesting pieces. Perfect for a sunny day.
In any case, if you live in the Netherlands for any amount of time, do yourself a favor and visit the Kroller Muller museum. The food is great too, and very reasonably priced.