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Pieter Hugo, Portrait from the series 1994 (2016) | © The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam | Part of Good Hope. South Africa and The Netherlands from 1600

The Best Exhibitions in Amsterdam This Spring

Picture of Tom Coggins
Tom Coggins
Updated: 13 April 2017

The second quarter of Amsterdam‘s cultural calendar is marked by several important museological events, including the largest ever retrospective of Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken work and the first full-scale exhibition dedicated to Martin Scorsese. In anticipation of this exciting period, we have put together the following list.

Van Gogh Returns

📅  Wednesday, March 22 – Sunday, May 14

In 2002, two Van Gogh paintings were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. These artworks were recently recovered in Naples by the Italian police and have since returned to their rightful place in Amsterdam. Both paintings depict rural Dutch life and were produced by van Gogh before he relocated to France in 1886. Titled View of the Sea at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, the paintings will be displayed at a special exhibition called Van Gogh Returns throughout spring. 

📍 The Van Gogh Museum, Museumplein 6, Amsterdam +31 20 570 5200

Vincent van Gogh: View of the Sea at Scheveningen, 1882 | © the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh, ‘View of the Sea at Scheveningen’, 1882 | © The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Ed van der Elsken – Camera in Love

📅  Saturday, February 4 – Sunday, May 21

Ed van der Elsken is regularly cited as the most important Dutch photographer of the 20th century and developed a distinctive, intimate style of photography that deliberately eschewed artistic objectivity. As a street photographer, van der Elsken frequently interacted with his subjects in order to draw out their individual quirks and characteristics. The Stedelijk Museum will present the largest ever overview of his work throughout the second quarter of 2017.

📍 The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam +31 20 573 2911

zie Wolfsburg-catalogus pag. 106

Ed van der Elsken, ‘Nieuwmarkt district, Amsterdam’ (1961) Nederlands Fotomuseum | © Ed van der Elsken / Collection Ed van der Elsken estate

William Eggleston – Los Alamos

📅  Friday, March 17 – Wednesday, June 7

This spring FOAM will present Willliam Eggleston’s early series Los Alamos. Eggleston was among the first figures to champion colour photography and successfully adapted the medium into a recognised art form. Whilst travelling through the southern states of America in the mid-1960s Eggleston began to experiment with colour and produced an influential collection of photographs that valorise mundane aspects of American life.

📍 FOAM, Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam +31 20 551 6500

William Eggleston Memphis ca 1965 1968 from the series Los Alamos 1965 1974 C Eggleston Artistic Trust 2004 Courtesy David Zwirner New York London

William Eggleston, ‘Memphis’, 1965 – 1968 | From the series “Los Alamos”, 1965 – 1974 | © Eggleston Artistic Trust / Courtesy of David Zwirmer, New York / London

Martin Scorsese – The Exhibition

📅  Thursday, May 25 – Sunday, September 3

As part of an ongoing series of exhibitions dedicated to esteemed filmmakers, in spring 2017 the Eye Film Institute will honour American director Martin Scorsese’s groundbreaking contributions to cinema by presenting hundreds of items associated with his filmography. Besides this phenomenal collection of clips, stills and props, the Eye Film Institute will also organise screenings of Scorsese’s work throughout the season.

📍 The Eye Film Institute, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam +31 20 589 1400

Still from Goodfellas (1990)

Still from ‘Goodfellas’, (1990) | Courtesy of the Eye Film Institute, Amsterdam

Good Hope. South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600

📅  Friday, February 17 – Sunday, May 21

By presenting over 300 individual artefacts, documents and artworks linked to the Netherlands and South Africa’s shared history, the Rijksmuseum’s latest exhibition critically examines the enduring effects of colonialism. The exhibition is actually the first of its kind and has been praised for its unflinching portrayal of Dutch imperialism, colonial slavery and Apartheid.

📍 The Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam +31 900 0745

Nelson Mandela during his welcome on Amsterdam's Leidseplein, June 16, 1990. | © Maurice Boyer / The Rijksmuseum

Nelson Mandela during his welcome on Amsterdam’s Leidseplein, June 16, 1990 | © Maurice Boyer / The Rijksmuseum

Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita

📅  Monday, January 23 – Sunday, June 11

Like many other Dutch Sephardic Jews, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita was murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Before the German invasion, de Mesquita was among the most celebrated graphic designers in the Netherlands and taught at Haarlem’s School of Applied Arts where he tutored several influential Dutch figures including M. C. Escher. Fortunately, his highly influential oeuvre survived the war and will be on display at the Jewish History Museum until June 2017.

📍Joods Historisch Museum, Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, Amsterdam +31 20 531 0310

Samuel_Jessurun_de_Mesquita_-_self-portrait_dated_1900

Early self-portrait of Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1900) | © Public Domain / WikiCommons