For any art lovers who are visiting Dordrecht, a trip to the Dordrechts Museum is an absolute must. This major exhibition space has received international critical acclaim and it contains many internationally famous pieces. Showing hundreds of examples of Dutch and international art from the past 400 years, this museum is well-known for displaying wonderful art in an equally wonderful setting.
The museum was established in 1842 by a number of art lovers and collectors who lived in the city. Although it was originally a private initiative, as the number of collectors in the Society began to grow, the group began to discuss exhibiting some of the works in their personal, private collections to members of the public. One of the first items which was displayed (Face to the Rhine by Willem de Klerk) was a special gift from the secretary general of the Mayor of Dordrecht at the time. The Dordrecht Museum is actually one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam. The museum continued to expand thanks to private donors, charitable donations from the public and funds from grant making trusts. The museum eventually moved to its present location in 1904.
The museum is home to a large collection of paintings which are representative of the Golden Age of Dordrecht painters. It is possible to see some of the finest works from an extensive list of artists, which includes Jan de Baen, Ferdinand Bol, Arent de Gelder, Aelbert Cuyp, Nicolaes Maes and Samuel van Hoogstraten.
The museum is also home to the largest collection of paintings in the world by Ary Scheffer, who was renowned for his skills of mixing classical Dutch and French styles of painting, following his move from the city to Paris. The Dordrechts Museum held a special exhibition in his honour in 1995, and continues to display a large number of his most important works in the permanent exhibition space.
Every summer, a small film festival is also held in the Museum garden. Several art house films which have received public attention over the course of the past year are screened for the enjoyment of the public.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 5pm. In addition to this, the museum is also open on Easter Monday, Whit Monday and Boxing Day for the same hours. Opening hours may be extended when the museum is displaying special exhibits. Entrance tickets are priced at €11 for adults, €5 for 13 – 18 year olds, and €6 for student card holders. Entrance is free for Museumkaart holders.
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