All masters under one roof
Visiting Rotterdam as an art lover, one must not miss the art museum Boijmans van Beuningen under any circumstances. As the largest and oldest art museum in Rotterdam it has accumulated an impressive amount of paintings and various sculptures in the course of time. The museum takes you through a visual journey through time with Dutch and other European artists. Entering this kaleidoscope of art, one gets an entire overview of the world of art spanning from the middle ages up to the 21st century. Strolling through the galleries you won't only encounter Dalí and Christo, but also Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Bosch in their artworks.
Open air art
Fortunately, the museum is structured in a way that you can also follow the different developments of each art epoch, whether it's impressionism and the modernism in the masterpieces of Monet or Mondriaan or the surrealism in Dalí's and Magritte's artworks. In the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum one isn't confined to be inside all the time. The open air area has a huge garden with various sculptures. Here you can have a stroll and get inspired by the masonry.
A time travel through art history
Apart from the art epochs, the museum also exhibits everyday objects covering the last 800 years. One can admire, for instance, jars and all sorts of medieval pottery as well as glass objects deriving from the golden age of the Netherlands. The Dutch golden age is a period roughly spanning the 17th century. Furthermore, there is furniture and other objects of interior furnishings representing the current trend. In this context, young artists are given the chance to exhibit their work and help the museum keep up to date. The museum welcomes touring exhibitions not only showing paintings and sculptures, but also films and other forms of visual art.
Landmark in a special style
The building of the museum captivates with its remarkable appearance. Both the green outdoor facilities and the lovely designed courtyards as well as the various galleries are a feast for the eyes. As the building has many windows, all exhibited artworks are well-lit through natural daylight and allow an excellent visibility, especially for the details. The large exhibitions halls are well complemented by the small galleries, rounding off the overall impression. The landmark of the museum is the tower at the front of the building, overlooking the entire city.
The origin of its name
The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum not only is the oldest art museum in the whole of Rotterdam, but is also accommodated in the largest building of this kind. It has thus a long history to look back to, ever since it was opened in 1849. Then, the museum was still known under the name Boijmans Museum, dedicated to the lawyer Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans who left most of his art collection to the museum. Although the basic stock was large enough to fill a museum, a fire in 1864 unfortunately destroyed large parts of the building almost entirely.
The building was slowly but surely rebuilt and restored after the fire and got its final looks by the architect Ad van der Steur in the period between 1928 and 1935. As if by magic, the construction was not destroyed during the heavy bombardment in 1940. In 1958 then, the collection of the businessman Daniël George van Beuningen was effortlessly added to the museum. This explains the museums second part of the name as it was renamed to Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in 1996. The museum had been extended in the course of time and is meanwhile officially a listed building.
How to get there
Coming from Utrecht/Gouda on the A20, change to A16 leading towards Dordrecht/Breda. Continue driving towards the city centre and turn right at the last traffic lights. Follow the Maasboulevard for about 4km (2.5mi). The river Maas should be on your left-hand side. Carry on until you get to the junction, which you can see the Erasmus bridge from. Turn right into the Schiedamse Dijk and turn left after the first traffic lights into the Schilderstraat and the Witte de Withstraat, which will in the further course end up in the museum park. The museum is on your left-hand side.
Coming from Schiphol/Den Haag or Rotterdam Airport, first take A4, then A13 and exit in the direction of Rotterdam Centrum. Turn right at the second traffic lights and continue for about 2km (1.25mi) through the Maas tunnel. Reaching the signpost “Centrum/ Erasmus MC” at the third traffic lights, you need to turn left into the Rochussenstraat. Upon the arrival at the second traffic lights, you turn right into the Westersingel and turn right again at the earliest available opportunity into the museum park. On your left-hand side, the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum appears in its full shape.
Coming from the direction of Belgium/ Breda or Dordrecht, first take the A16 and follow the signposts towards Ring Oost/ Utrecht and keep carrying on to Rotterdam Centrum/ Capelle A/d IJssel. Take the exit leading to the city centre and follow the signposts until you reach the Maasboulevard and keep driving for about 4km (2.5mi) along the river Maas. Follow the course of the road that will eventually change its name to Boompjes. Carry on until you get to the junction, which you can see the Erasmus bridge from. Turn right into the Schiedamse Dijk and turn left after the first traffic lights into the Schilderstraat and the Witte de Withstraat, which will in the further course end up in the museum park. The museum is on your left-hand side.
Parking facilities are provided at the parking garage directly located at the museum park at number 25. You may as well use the parking garage in Westblaak 88, which you best get to via the Hartmanstraat.
By public transport
The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum is only a 15 minutes walk away from the central station. From here you have the possibility to use the subway lines A, B or C taking you to Schiedam Centrum or De Akkers and then getting off at the station Eendrachtsplein.
Additionally, you can use tram line 7 in the direction Willemsplein or line 20 in the direction of Lombardijen. With both lines you need to get off at Museumsplein. But you may as well take tram line 4 in the direction of Marconiplein and get off at Eendrachtsplein.