Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art

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Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art

Amsterdam's celebrated treasure house of modern art, the Stedelijk reopened in September 2012 following a massive refurbishment of the wedding-cake Neo-Renaissance structure built in 1895. In true Amsterdam fashion, the locals were quick to nickname the futuristic addition by globally acclaimed local architects Benthem/Crouwel the "Badkuip" (Bathtub); it incorporates a glass-walled restaurant (which you can visit, along with the museum shop, without a museum ticket). The new Stedelijk has twice the exhibition space as the old museum, with temporary exhibitions in the addition.

As for the Stedelijk's old building, it's home to the museum's fabled collection of modern and contemporary art and design pieces. While this collection harbors many works by such giants of modernism as Chagall, Cézanne, Picasso, Monet, Mondrian, and Malevich, there is a definite emphasis on the post–World War II period: with such local CoBrA artists as Appel and Corneille (CoBrA was the avant-garde art movement from 1948 to 1951; the name comes from the initials of the members' home cities: Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam); American Pop artists like Warhol, Johns, Oldenburg, and Liechtenstein; Abstract Expressionists including de Kooning and Pollock; contemporary German Expressionists such as Polke, Richter, and Baselitz; and works by Dutch essentials of the De Stijl school, including the game-changing Red Blue Chair that Gerrit Rietveld designed in 1918 and Mondrian's 1920 trail-blazing Composition in Red, Black, Yellow, Blue, and Grey.

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