Although a separate legal entity, Hermitage Amsterdam is associated with the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the second largest art museum in Amsterdam behind the Rijksmuseum and receives some 400,000 visitors each year. According to the museum: “The Hermitage Amsterdam aims to use art and history to inspire, enrich and above all offer opportunity for reflection.”
Located on the banks of the Amstel River in the heart of Amsterdam, the Hermitage Amsterdam is housed in the historic Amstelhoff. In 1690, the merchant Barent Helleman passed away. His will provided that his fortune should be used to create a home for old women.. Pursuant to this direction, the Amstelhoff was constructed in 1681 In 1817, it began taking in old men as well. In the 1850s, it was allegedly the first building to have a central heating system installed. However, by the 1990s, it was deemed no longer fit for its original purpose and the idea of using the building as a museum was born. However, it continued to be a home for the elderly until 2007.
Following a 40 million Euro renovation, the building was opened in 2009 as the Hermitage Amsterdam by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and then-President of Russia, Dimitry Meduedev. The goal of the renovation was to preserve the building's exterior while transforming the interior into state-of-the-art exhibition space. The building now has nearly 24,000 square feet of exhibition space contained in two large exhibition halls and in a number of smaller rooms.
The museum has no permanent collection per se although it does have standing exhibitions on Dutch-Russian relations and on the history of the Amstelhoff. Instead, it presents a program of temporary exhibitions mostly drawn from the massive Hermitage collection in St. Petersburg but the Hermitage Amsterdam also works with other museums. Given the breath of the Hermitage collection, Hermitage Amsterdam is not confined to any one category or type of art. There are usually two major exhibitions on display; typically for a duration of six months.
The building is also home to the Outsider Art Museum. This museum presents the work of Outsider Artists, i.e., artists with no formal training in art.
Hermitage Amsterdam has a cafe, a tea room and a shop. It also offers workshops and classes for children.
For information about visiting, see the Hermitage Amsterdam's website.
Places to see art - - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - - Hermitage Amsterdam