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April 10, 2013

Rijksmuseum Reopens

By Erin Schumaker | Museums

Rijksmuseum Reopens
John Lewis Marshall / Image courtesy of Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands, reopens on April 13 after a ten-year, $500 million renovation.

Originally opened in 1885, the four-floor, 128-year-old museum is an ode to masters of the Dutch Golden Age, including Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. Now, after its revamp headed by Spanish design firm Cruz y Ortiz, it is also an exercise in chronology, telling the history of the Netherlands—from the Middle Ages to the 21st century—via 8,000 paintings, prints, silver pieces, tapestries, jewelry, arms and fashion objects spread throughout 80 galleries. Highlights of the upgrade include a glass-covered entrance hall, a stone-and-glass Asian pavilion, a renovated library and a new outdoor museum based on a 1901 design by Pierre Cuypers, the museum’s original architect.

Despite the chronological reorganization of the museum’s collection, one artwork will not be moving. The Night Watch (1642), Rembrandt’s larger-than-life masterpiece, was deemed famous enough to return to its dedicated space at the end of the Gallery of Honor. 1 Museumstraat; 31-20/662-1440; rijksmuseum.nl.