The Dutch love their art and rightly so – they have an incredibly rich history of painting and have given the western world some of its best painters and imagery. The famous Rijksmuseum in central Amsterdam is one of the most visited art museums in the world and also one of the most innovative.
The people behind the Rijksmuseum are the first to have opened an annexe at an airport. Don’t let’s downplay how important Schiphol airport itself is in this – it’s a fantastic airport and obviously very interested in making travelers lives more bearable as they await a plane.
The Rijksmuseum Schiphol is not huge – in the current exhibition there are only eight paintings hanging. But it’s not size that matters, we all know that. Until the end of March 2012, the Dutch Winters exhibition traces the evolution of winter landscape painting through the 19th century, from Romanticism to Impressionism.
I stumbled over the gallery of paintings quite by chance and was amazed to find such outstanding work in an airport. Clearly they have excellent security in place and faith in travelers to enjoy art as respectfully outside the hallowed halls of the traditional museum space as within it.
Rijksmuseum Schiphol has been there nearly ten years, so I think it has proved a success. You’ll find it on Holland Boulevard, behind passport control between the E and F pier. Admission is free and it’s open from 6am until 8pm.