Art enthusiasts are certainly spoilt for choice in the Netherlands, thanks to the high concentration of excellent modern and contemporary galleries inside the country. Although Amsterdam has the highest number of art institutes in the country, there are plenty of other leading galleries within Dutch borders.
The Stedelijk Museum
The Stedelijk has always had strong ties with the international art scene and has helped many Dutch movements find their ground abroad by presenting their work to a larger audience. Today, the museum’s upper gallery is primarily devoted to contemporary developments within the art world and frequently showcases cutting-edge paintings, sculptures and installations created by leading figures from the Netherlands and beyond.
📍 The Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam, +31 20 573 2911
Unlike most art institutions, Rotterdam’s Kunsthal only presents temporary exhibitions and doesn’t actually possess a permanent collection at all. This unique museological strategy was devised by the museum’s founders in order to continuously highlight important, unseen and atypical artwork from around the globe. Kunsthal organises at least 20 exhibitions every year, placing it amongst the most versatile galleries in the world.
📍 Kunsthal, Westzeedijk 341, Rotterdam, +31 10 440 0300
Amsterdam’s principle photography museum and exhibition space has been located on Keizersgracht canal since 2001. Each year the museum curates at least four major exhibitions dedicated to famous, international photographers, which coincide with shorter pieces covering up-and-coming artists. This two-pronged approach to curation means that there is always an equal measure of well-established and groundbreaking artwork at FOAM, regardless of the season.
📍 FOAM, Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam, +31 20 551 6500
De Hallen Haarlem
In 1950 Haarlem’s Frans Hals Museum decided to split its collection and moved its modern pieces to an additional site called De Hallen. This newer site is actually located inside one of the oldest buildings in Haarlem and has since grown into a highly reputable exhibition space. Twice a year, De Hallen presents a string of exhibitions that focus on contemporary visual art, with an added emphasis on photography and filmmaking.
📍 De Hallen Haarlem, Grote Markt 16, Haarlem, +31 23 511 5775
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Although Gemeentemuseum Den Haag’s collection generally leans toward Modern, rather than contemporary art, its yearly programme frequently features newer artwork that straddles the line between these two genres. Besides its many annual temporary exhibitions, the museum also possesses the largest Mondriaan collection in the world, alongside an enormous selection of de Stijl artwork, much of which is on permanent display within its galleries.
📍 Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, Den Haag, +31 70 338 1111
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Rotterdam’s Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art has been a major player within the Dutch and international art scene for over 25 years. The center manages several projects including exhibitions, talks and an independent publishing house, which are all geared towards critical artistic practises and theory. Its three-storey gallery presents around six exhibitions per year, that cover a broad spectrum of themes, genres and mediums.
📍 Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam, +31 10 411 0144