Located within Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo, Netherlands, the Kröller-Müller Museum is a national art museum presenting the private art collection of collector Helene Kröller-Müller, showcasing the world’s second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh.
Helene Kröller-Müller was a prominent art collector in the Netherlands throughout the turn of the 20th century. Along with her husband, Anton, Kröller-Müller acquired more than 11,000 works of fine art throughout the early 20th century. By 1922, the couple had amassed one of the largest known art collections of its kind. Kröller-Müller’s collection was installed in a public museum house in 1938, designed by Belgian architect Henry van de Velde. In 1961, a sculpture garden was added to the facility, landscaped by Jan Bijhouwer to showcase works by artists such as Auguste Rodin and Barbara Hepworth. Throughout the 20th century, the sculpture garden became one of the largest of its kind in Europe, housing more than 160 pieces by prominent international artists. During the 1970s, the museum was expanded with a new wing designed by Dutch architect Wim Quist. Pavilions designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Aldo van Eyck were added to the garden in 1995 and 2005.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Today, the Kröller-Müller Museum is a national art museum of the Netherlands, located within Otterlo’s Hoge Veluwe National Park. The museum showcases the world’s second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, surpassed only to the collection held by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The museum is the 13th most-visited museum in the country, seeing an annual visitorship of more than 380,000. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays during the mornings and afternoons, with special hours offered on major national and international holidays. As the museum is located within a national park, a separate park entrance fee is charged, though visitors may purchase a combination pass for both attractions.
More than 20,000 works of art are showcased within the museum’s permanent collection, including 90 paintings and more than 180 drawings by Van Gogh. Many are presented within the museum’s Van Gogh Gallery. Notable Van Gogh paintings include Cafe Terrace at Night, Sorrowing Old Man, and a copy of The Potato Eaters. Other collections and galleries showcase works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Piet Mondrian, and Georges-Pierre Seurat. More than 3,900 works within the museum’s permanent collection are presented in the museum’s online gallery, which catalogs pieces with additional photographs and information. A museum restaurant, Monsieur Jacques, offers light lunch dishes and coffee shop beverages.
In addition to its indoor gallery collections, the Kröller-Müller Museum is also noted for its 75-acre sculpture garden, which is located within a forested section of the national park. As one of the largest sculpture gardens of its kind in Europe, the garden focuses on principles of symbiosis between nature, art, and architecture and showcases a wide variety of modern and contemporary art pieces. More than 160 works are showcased, including pieces by notable artists such as Auguste Rodin, Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Marta Pan, and Pierre Huyghe. Two 1960s-era pavilions designed by noted architects Gerrit Rietveld and Aldo van Eyck were transplanted to the garden, offering public shelter and leisure space. Visitors may use the sculpture garden for public picnic or recreation space at their leisure. Though the garden itself is primarily accessible for visitors with mobility concerns, a number of unpaved paths may not be accessible via wheelchair or mobility scooter. Visitors should note that some garden sculptures are covered during the winter months due to weather-related concerns, and that the garden may be closed during inclement weather. A garden map is available at the museum’s information desk for visitor exploration. Visitors may also explore the surrounding Hoge Veluwe National Park, which spans 5,500 hectares and features a Visitor Center, outdoor activities, and the preserved home of the Kröller-Müllers, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.
Ongoing Programs and Education
In addition to standard museum admission, guided group tours are available for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary and secondary school groups. Tours are offered in Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and German and last between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on group size and needs. A maximum of 20 participants is allowed on group tours, though multiple tour guides may be booked to accommodate larger groups. A Podcatcher audio tour is also offered for self-guided tours, available in Dutch, English, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Chinese. For families with children, a variety of educational supplemental material and activities are offered, including a detective game, a museum dice game, and toddler picture books featuring notable art pieces from museum collections.
Houtkampweg 6, 6731 AW Otterlo, Netherlands, Phone: +31-3-18-59-12-41