In the boys’ Montessori school, they have learned something about Van Gogh – and especially his sunflowers. So we always thought it could be a fun museum to see with them. We tried to go last year, but the timed tickets were already sold out for the day and time we wanted! So this year, we bought the tickets for the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam before we even left for the Netherlands.
Even with timed tickets purchased in advance, it was the most crowded museum I have ever seen. And it seems to be like this all the time!
We got the boys the interactive tour for children. Hippo (age 4) was not impressed by the works of the great master. So mostly he and my dad sat on the various benches telling stories. Froggy, on the other hand, loved it (age 7). On the handheld screen, he was given a small piece of a painting and had to figure out which one it was. We had to help quite a bit, especially as he was too short to see over the heads of crowd of adults.
The advantage of the scavenger hunt was that it gave him something to focus on and something to do. But I also wonder how much he really took in? Still, he’s only 7! So I think it was a pretty good introduction – and a positive experience – for his first museum of artwork.
We were surprised by how prolific a painter Van Gogh was! He created over 900 paintings! And what a variety there was to his style! It was quite striking. There were many famous paintings to be seen, such as the Sunflowers and many of his self-portraits. We were, however, surprised to find that his “Starry Night” is actually in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
If you don’t mind crowds, then by all means, visit the Van Gogh Museum. My mother, who is an artist herself, found it very inspiring. Personally, such crowds make me rather stressed, especially with young children. So I might have preferred to take them to the Rijksmuseum instead, where there is a great variety of art to be seen – including some Van Goghs! My mother-in-law recommended the Rembrandt House Museum, but that will have to wait for another trip for us….
Is it good for kids?
I’m not so sure. Hippo (age 4) was definitely not interested. Froggy (age 7) did fine with his interactive scavenger hunt, but I’m not sure how much art he actually saw. But overall, I’m not sure I would have done this one with the kids, in hindsight.
What about the cost?
Adult tickets cost €17. Children 18 and under are free. Entrance is also free with the Museum Card.