The origins of the famous Kröller-Müller Museum can be traced back to 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.

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. Visiting the museum is one of my recommended day trips from Amsterdam. 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

Van Gogh collection at the Kröller-Müller Museum

The museum is home to almost 90 paintings and 180 sketches by Vincent van Gogh, making this the second-largest collection of Van Gogh artworks in the world (and the largest private collection)!

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 Olive Grove” by Van Gogh.
A self portrait by Van Gogh.
“Sorrowing Old Man” by Van Gogh.

Other great masters

The Kröller-Müller Museum is also home to works of other famous artists like Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Van Cleef and Isaac Israels.

portrait of a woman picasso photo
“Portrait of a Woman” by Pablo Picasso.
“Road Leading to a Lake” by Cezanne
Monet’s Studio Boat
tower of babel van cleef-photo
“Building of the Tower of Babel” by Van Cleef.
“The Café” by Renoir
The impressive “Transport of Colonial Soldiers” by Isaac Israels.

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 sculpture garden.
There are lots of trees, plants and shrubs in the sculpture garden.

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.

Use one of the white bicycles to explore the park.
netherlands forest
Hoge Veluwe forest

Paleis Het Loo

At the edges of the Hoge Veluwe National Park lies Paleis Het Loo, one of the grandest Dutch royal palaces. Reopened in 2023 after a ten-year renovation, this palace features opulent state rooms and beautiful ornamental gardens.

what to see at het loo palace
Paleis Het Loo

Read other Velvet Escape posts on the Netherlands:

11 Responses

  • […] 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 … […]

  • 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.

  • An emoticon would’ve been appropriate. Oh well.
    Have a great weekend. Sun’s out! 🙂


  • 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 😉

  • 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!


  • 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.

  • 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.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Appeared In