Destination: The Local Museum
By Michelle Standiford, Graphic Designer~
I enjoy seeing the many people who come to the Loveland Museum. The majority of our visitors are returning guests who come for joy of the familiar and the excitement of something new in the galleries. But there are also the new visitors coming to us from different states, countries, cities, or even from just the down road. Once these first-time visitors walk through the door, it is our hope that we will establish a life-long relationship and they will make us their destination when travelling through Loveland again in the future.
When I travel, one of the first decisions I make (after deciding where I will go on vacation) is what am I going to do once I get there. My first web search is for what museums are in the area. I base many of my day-trips, excursions, and sightseeing tours around these particular museums. On those lucky few times, the museums becomes something more than just a nice way to spend the afternoon, but rather, they become a destination.
I have a husband who travels internationally for his work. As a perk of all this travel, I get to join him occasionally. We have been fortunate to be able to visit the Netherlands every year, and each time I get this opportunity, I head straight to the Krӧller Müller Museum in Otterlo. I love this little museum and want to share my “destination museum” with you.
The Krӧller Müller museum is located in the center of the Hoge Veluwe National Park. This beautiful park is filled with an abundance of wildlife, plants, and the most amazing scenery you will find in the Netherlands. When you enter the park, you can continue driving to the museum, or hop on a bicycle and ride the many bike baths through the park and take in the scenery up close. It’s a good way to shake off some of that jet-lag that may still be lingering!
The Krӧller Müller museum was founded by Helene Krӧller-Müller and opened to the public in 1938. Ms. Krӧller-Müller was an avid art collector. She purchased paintings from those “little known artists” of her time like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Paul Signac, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and others for a fraction of what they are worth today. Imagine strolling through the local galleries and purchasing a Renoir right off the wall! She had a keen eye for art and a deep appreciation for the talents of the artists of that time. It was a good thing that her husband didn’t mind her art shopping excursions, as she soon amassed a collection of over 11,500 pieces. Not one to keep her collection to herself, she wanted to share it with the world and donated everything to the Netherlands in 1935.
As you stroll through the halls, you will be amazed that this little museum houses the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings outside of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam itself. We’re not talking about a couple of pieces, but rather over 270 paintings and drawings including these favorites of mine.
Before you get too absorbed in these paintings and start humming “Starry Starry Night,” you must take in the other ever-changing exhibitions from their collection. This museum is small, so every time you visit, you will see something new. On my most recent trip, I enjoyed these paintings.
We all remember our art history classes, but these classes just don’t make an impact until you can sit and appreciate the masters up close in real-life. No textbook image (or blog image) can do these pieces justice. You must see them up close!
Over the past eight years, I have visited this museum ten times. It has become a true destination for me and is well worth the drive to get away from the overly crowded museums in Amsterdam. Here, you get to connect with the art in a way that you can’t do with several hundred people standing next to you and moving along in a slow, assembly line crawl.
I will leave you with this image of a cat by Bart van der Leck because if you know me, if it’s a painting of a cat, I tend to love it. He isn’t always on display when I visit, so it was treat to see him on my last visit.
Enjoy your travels, and make the local museum a destination for your next vacation. There could be a hidden gem just waiting for you. See you at the Museum!