In 1973 the Van Gogh museum was opened, this video clip made at the time shows the paintings being bought into the new building, unpacked and hung. Museum staff used paper cut in the same size as the paintings to arrange them. On the opening day Queen Juliana and Vincent William van Gogh, the artist’s nephew, viewed the paintings.
Until the new museum was built the paintings were held as part of the Stedelijk collection, the commentary of the movie is only in Dutch but the commentator begins by saying that “Amsterdam has built a museum for one man, and is busy with the installation of 230 paintings and 500 drawings from the one man”. Neither Rembrandt nor Vermeer have their own museum, perhaps reflecting the limited number of works available rather than their status.
The museum was added to in 98/99 with new exhibition space designed by Kisho Kurakawa – that’s the round building on the Museumplein side – and has just had six months refurbishment.
It was the most visited museum in Amsterdam every year from 2008 to 2012, but that may change this year with the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum.
Note; I would have embedded the video, but the code provided uses an iframe which is a risky way to share content and not accepted by WordPress, so sorry – you’ll have to click the link!