I arrived in Amsterdam early in the morning and headed straight to my hotel. No rest or shower for the weary. I had to wait till the afternoon for my room so I headed out into the streets early in the morning before most people had woken up.

Walked around the quiet Canal streets and then headed to the Van Gogh museum. Got there 15 minutes before they opened. I had a reservation for 2 PM that afternoon but I hoped to be checking into my room at that time.

The museum seemed run down and poorly lit but they’re doing work on one of the buildings so perhaps that’s why.

I saw lots of great Van Gogh paintings. Somewhere so familiar that I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen them in person before. Others, I definitely have not seen before.

An unlikely Van Gogh painting:


From there I moved on to the modern art museum, the Stedlijk.

They had works by well-known Dutch and non-Dutch artists and many Dutch artists I have never heard of.

While the works or heavy on abstraction, I was struck by two self-portraits that were side-by-side one by German Max Beckmann:


And another by Brit Stanley Spencer:


I’ve become a big fan of German artist Martin Kippenberger and they had quite a few of his works I hadn’t seen before. The museum had recently put on display three paintings of his from 1985 that I was not familiar with. They are three different buildings that all have narrow horizontal windows one is the Betty Ford clinic another is a present and another is a school. Guess which one this is:


Me and Rauschenberg:

After a night on the plane and a day in the museums, I headed back to the hotel to check in to my room.

My hotel (a great location but I checked out this morning–they put me in the sauna room, which I hadn’t requested):

After a quick shower, I then I headed off to meet a friend for drinks followed by dinner at Restaurant Greetje (separate post to come).