Rijksmuseum as seen from the Museumplein
|Established||31 May 1800|
965,000 (2012 est.)
|President||Jaap de Hoop Scheffer|
|Public transit access|||
The Rijksmuseum (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛi̯ksmyˌzeːjʏm]) (English: State Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.
The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and was originally opened in 1885, but was closed for renovation from 2003 to 2013. On 13 April 2013, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix after the ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million. 
The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian Pavilion.
In 1795, the Batavian Republic was proclaimed. The Minister of Finance Isaac Gogel argued that a national museum, following the French example of The Louvre, would serve the national interest. On 19 November 1798, the government decided to found the museum.
On 31 May 1800, the National Art Gallery (Dutch: Nationale Kunst Gallerij), precursor of the Rijksmuseum, opened its doors in Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. The museum exhibited around 200 paintings and historic objects from the collections of the Dutch stadtholders.
In 1806, the Kingdom of Holland was established by Napoleon Bonaparte. On the orders of king Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, the museum moved to Amsterdam in 1808. The paintings owned by that city, such as The Night Watch by Rembrandt, became part of the collection. In 1809, the museum opened its doors in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
In 1817, the museum moved to the Trippenhuis. The Trippenhuis turned out to be unsuitable as a museum. In 1820, the historical objects were moved to the Mauritshuis in The Hague, and in 1838 the 19th-century paintings were moved to Paviljoen Welgelegen in Haarlem.
In 1863, there was a design contest for a new building for the Rijksmuseum, but none of the submissions was considered to be of sufficient quality. Pierre Cuypers also participated in the contest and his submission reached the second place.
In 1876 a new contest was held and this time Pierre Cuypers won. The design was a combination of gothic and renaissance elements. The construction began on 1 October 1876. On both the inside and the outside, the building was richly decorated with references to Dutch art history. Another contest was held for these decorations. The winners were B. van Hove and J.F. Vermeylen for the sculptures, G. Sturm for the tile tableaus and painting and W.F. Dixon for the stained glass. The museum was opened at its new location on 13 July 1885.
In 1890 a new building was added a short distance to the south-west of the Rijksmuseum. As the building was made out of fragments of demolished buildings, that together give an overview of the history of Dutch architecture, it has come to be known informally as the 'fragment building'. It is also known as the 'south wing', and is currently (in 2013) branded the Philips Wing.
In 1906 the hall for the Night Watch was rebuilt. In the interior more changes were made, between the 1920s and 1950s most multi-coloured wall decorations were painted over. In the 1960s exposition rooms and several floors were built into the two courtyards. The building had some minor renovations and restorations in 1984, 1995–1996 and 2000.
A renovation of the south wing of the museum, also known as the 'fragment building' or 'Philips Wing', was completed in 1996.
In December 2003, the main building of the museum closed for a major renovation. During this renovation, about 400 objects from the collection were on display in the 'fragment building', including Rembrandt's The Night Watch and other 17th-century masterpieces.
The restoration and renovation of the Rijksmuseum are based on a design by Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz. Many of the old interior decorations were restored and the floors in the courtyards were removed. The renovation would have initially taken five years, but was delayed and eventually took almost ten years to complete. The renovation cost € 375 million.
The reconstruction of the building was completed on 16 July 2012. In March 2013 the museum's main pieces of art were moved back from the 'fragment building' to the main building. The Night Watch returned to the Night Watch Room, at the end of the Hall of Fame. On 13 April 2013, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix.
List of directors
- Cornelis Sebille Roos
- Cornelis Apostool (1808–1844)
- Jan Willem Pieneman (1844–1847)
- Frederik Daniël Otto Obreen (1883–1896)
- Barthold Willem Floris van Riemsdijk (1897–1921)
- Frederik Schmidt-Degener (1921–1941)
- David Röell (1945–1959)
- Arthur van Schendel (1959–1975)
- Simon Levie (1975–1989)
- Henk van Os (1989–1996)
- Ronald de Leeuw (1996–2008)
- Wim Pijbes (2008–present)
In the 1990s and early 2000s the Rijksmuseum was annually visited by 0.9 to 1.3 million people. On 7 December 2003, the main building of the museum was closed for a renovation until 13 April 2013. In the following decade, the amount of visitors slightly decreased to 0.8 to 1.1 million people. The museum says after the renovation, the museum's capacity is 1.5 to 2.0 million visitors annually. After the reopening in 2013, the museum was visited by 1 million people in the first four and a half months.
The collection of the Rijksmuseum consists of 1 million objects and is dedicated to arts, crafts, and history from the years 1200 to 2000. Around 8000 objects are currently on display in the museum.
The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian Pavilion.
The museum has taken the unusual step of making some 125,000 high-resolution images available for download via its Rijks Studio software, with plans to add another 40,000 images per year until the entire collection of one million works is available, according to Taco Dibbits, director of collections.
- This includes the 16,777 visitors to the main building.
- The main building was closed from 7 December 2003.
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Cite error: The named reference
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.|
- Rijksmuseum, official website