advertisement

The outstanding Gemeentemuseum forms part of a museum complex surrounding a small lake along with the science-themed Museon (see below), the Omniversum 3D movie theater (see below), the Den Haag Museum of Photography, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Housed in a honey-hued brick building finished in 1935 by architect H.P. Berlage, and with an interior of harmonious curves and pale yellow and white tiles, this is a superb museum with so much excellence to discover that several hours are required to do the vast displays justice.

Top billing goes to the more than 50 works by De Stijl artist Piet Mondrian (the largest of any collection of his works, including many of his most iconic pieces). Other permanent exhibitions are equally strong; for example, “Discover the Modern” covers the very best of 20th-century art from Kandinsky and Schiele to Kirchner, Monet, and Picasso.

Decorative arts are covered in detail with ceramics from Delft, China, and the Middle East; Dutch and Venetian glass; silver; period furniture; and an intricate wooden dollhouse dating from 1743. The music department has antique instruments from around the world and an impressive library of scores, books, and prints, as well as underground galleries hosting temporary fashion exhibits such as dresses by Chanel. A new innovation is the child-friendly interactive exhibition “Wonderkamers,” in which kids effectively become part of a space-age computer game as they explore the gallery.