A treasure trove in the forest

It all began with a course in art appreciation. In the late-19th century, the Kröller-Müller family was one of the wealthiest in Holland. Anton Kröller was chairman of Wm. H. Müller & Co., a conglomerate with large interests in shipping, the American grain trade and iron ore mining in Africa. One day, his wife, Helene Kröller-Müller decided to enroll herself and her daughter in an art appreciation class by H.P. Bremmer, a renowned arts teacher at the time. Inspired by his classes, Helene soon began collecting art. Before long, she had amassed the largest private collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world and many other priceless pieces by the likes of Renoir, Monet, Israels and Picasso. The collection grew rapidly into a treasure trove of 11,500 art pieces, most of which were kept at the family’s country estate in the forests of the Hoge Veluwe, in the east of the Netherlands, and the Wm. H. Müller & Co. headquarters in The Hague.

The Kröller-Müller Museum

When the recession struck in the early 1930′s, the family presented the art collection to the Dutch state to keep it intact on the condition that a museum be built to house it. A museum was built in the forests of the Hoge Veluwe near the family’s St. Hubert Hunting Lodge. In 1938, the Kröller-Müller Museum opened its doors to the public.

Today, the Kröller-Müller museum is a true treasure trove for art lovers from around the world. It is a surreal experience to stop and stare at some of the world’s most famous paintings at such close proximity. Please scroll down to view a photo essay of some of the most stunning pieces in this museum:

This gentleman greets every visitor

The museum is located amidst the forests of the Hoge Veluwe

The main corridor

"Road Leading to a Lake" by Cezanne

A room full of Van Gogh paintings

"Country Road in Provence by Night" by Van Gogh

My favourite piece: "Terrace of a café at night (Place du Forum)" by Van Gogh

"The Café" by Renoir

The impressive "Transport of Colonial Soldiers" by Isaac Israels

"Self-Portrait" by Vincent van Gogh

The pain he feels is almost tangible in this painting "Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity's Gate)" by Van Gogh

The Sculpture Garden

The museum’s unique location, deep in the woods of the Hoge Veluwe, inspired the opening of a Sculpture Garden in 1961, exhibiting works by amongst others Rodin, Moore and Hepworth.

The Hoge Veluwe National Park

The Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest privately-managed conservation area in the Netherlands. The Park covers 5,400 hectares of woodland, heathland, peat bogs and drift sand. Together with the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Sculpture Garden and St. Hubert Hunting Lodge, the Park forms a unique and internationally renowned combination of nature, art and architecture. There are a multitude of walking and bicycle trails as well as auto-routes throughout the park. I recommend hopping on one of the free white bicycles to explore the many beautiful spots in the park.

Note: A big thank you goes to the Kröller-Müller Museum for sponsoring my visit.

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9 Responses to “A treasure trove in the forest”

  1. Armando Cabba 24/02/2012 3:48 pm
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    I must visit this museum. I can hear the silence

  2. Steve K 26/03/2011 7:27 am
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    I was stationed in The Netherlands for more than three years, and this museum was — to me — the jewel in the crown. It’s hard to imagine a collection of such incredible art in one building — and with picture windows and no barriers or ropes, to boot.

  3. velvet 20/03/2011 10:39 am
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    An emoticon would’ve been appropriate. Oh well.
    Have a great weekend. Sun’s out! :-)

    cheers,
    Keith

  4. John 20/03/2011 6:49 am
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    Keith,

    I apologise if I upset you. It could have been better phrased and I should have added an emoticon ;)

    I could say it is a well written with a good photo essay but that is your usual standard anyway.

    At least I can’t be accused of just adding congratulatory comments like the majority of comment submitters.

    Now I expect the whole blogging / comment submitting community will call me rude ;)

  5. velvet 19/03/2011 4:23 pm
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    John,
    That’s very presumptuous of you don’t you think? Aside from the fact that this was my 5th visit, I find your comment downright rude!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  6. Wandering Trader's Travels 19/03/2011 3:43 pm
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    The paintings look really plain amidst the museum’s white walls. I was caught aback by how beautiful they actually are with your close up pics :)

  7. Debbie Beardsley 18/03/2011 6:56 pm
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    This museum has some amazing art! Art in the park, what a great way to enjoy a day. It all looks wonderful.

    Thank you for sharing this find.

  8. John 18/03/2011 2:04 pm
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    Keith,
    Did it really take the museum to sponsor your visit to get you to visit the Kröller-Müller Museum? Shame on you. It was a highlight of my 2005 visit to the Netherlands.

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  1. Muller museum | Greenere - 29/03/2012

    [...] The art treasures of the Kroller-Muller Museum | Velvet EscapeMar 17, 2011 … A museum was built in the forests of the Hoge Veluwe near the family’s St. Hubert Hunting Lodge. In 1938, the Kröller-Müller Museum opened … [...]

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