Rotterdam’s premier art museum began with bequests from two wealthy Dutch art lovers: Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans donated his collection to the city in 1847, and Daniel George van Deuningen followed suit in 1955. From 16th-century paintings to contemporary glassware, the museum’s displays of western works are constantly changing; it has featured 20th-century bodies of work by German Expressionist Max Beckmann and French surrealist Yves Tanguy, as well as pieces from hundreds of years earlier.
Highlights of this expansive 140,000-work collection include Pieter Bruegel’s peerless Old Testament offering The Tower of Babel (1553), which warrants close inspection for all its detailed activity; scores of delicate drawings by Renaissance artist Fra Bartolommeo; Rembrandt’s winsome Titus at his Desk; and a collection of Gerrit Rietveld’s distinct colored wooden furniture. The many other artists represented here include Rubens, Dalí, Da Vinci, Monet, Picasso, Van Eyck and Man Ray. All works are housed in a stylish red-brick building designed by Adrianus Van der Steur, now updated with airy glass galleries and surrounded by a sculpture park and fountains. Free temporary exhibitions are on display in the Willem van der Vorm gallery and Serra Hall just inside the main entrance.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is at Museumpark, and the general entrance fee is 12.50, while it costs €6.25 for students and €10 for seniors. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Visitors can take subway A, B or C from Central Station to De Akkers (with a prepaid card only), or park in the underground lot at Museumpark, which does not accept cash. Audio guides and guided tours are available.