Everybody loves Art.

We saw Van Gogh in the morning, and met up with our friends in the afternoon to check out the Rijksmuseum, which is just across the yard from Van Gogh.  I think we had all been before, but they, too, have renovated in recent years, adding a roof and walls to some outdoor gardens, creating a nice atrium / cafe / open space, of which I approve (can you believe it?).  It means there is more indoor space for hanging out and waiting for friends or just relaxing, which was much needed.  Also, the entrance is now in the street-level tunnel, which is fun, and means not waiting in the rain if there’s a line, and there’s a weird little glass elevator so I guess the kids and the infirm are happy about that. Of course the whole shebang cost millions of $$ and took years, but whatever. Basically, Amsterdam is overrun with tourists, and the museums need to accommodate them.

Slava & I had cleared our art palates after the other art museum with lunch at a cute cafe and a walking tour of a medieval canaled neighborhood. We saw some nice crooked houses and houseboats, and Slava moved a port-a-potty out of the way for a lady trying to move her car without driving into the canal, which she came pretty close to doing. There wasn’t anyone in it, apparently. Strong, like bull! I knew I was going to regret all that walking….

At the museum, the 4 of us walked up to the top floor, made a vague meet-up plan, and split up. The place is huge and one would be a tired fool to try to see everything. We started with the Rembrants (which are huge), and Vermeers, (which are not) because that’s what you do. They were, of course, mobbed by Chinese tourists, many of whom were taking selfies in front of every painting, sometimes while wearing their face masks. The medical type, not these cool beach ones, unfortunately.

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Check out her skin-toned beach gloves!

I guess, now that I’ve written this much, nothing really stands out for me, which is weird. Oh right, this guy! This is the oldest known European Renaissance portrait of a person of African descent – an ordinary person, anyway. A nice surprise.

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The Modern Art section was worth a visit – I loved the Art Nouveau porcelain and the Art Deco living room set. Also the airplane! Plus a cool little Avant Garde film was showing (a digital copy, anyway).

Overall, this museum seemed to fulfill the expectations of a 21st century visit to a national art museum in a popular city. Too many visitors, many walking around glassey-eyed, headphones plugged in, oblivious of those around them. Do they see anything not mentioned in the audio tour? Selfies galore. Looking at pictures just long enough to snap a photo on a phone. Proof. We took only one – of the painting above, since I rightly figured there would be no postcard available.

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