Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar presents the past in changing interactive presentations showcasing superb collections of old and early modern paintings and decorative art. ‘The Golden Age', 'Victory!' and 'Portrait of Alkmaar' shed light on the city’s glorious history. The museum presents a surprising display of its fine collection of works by the Bergen School. This exhibit places the heyday of North Holland expressionism in a broad context.
As well as the permanent displays, the museum stages temporary exhibitions several times a year with a diverse programme of events and activities. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar’s eclectic offering attracts a wide range of visitors from all over the Netherlands.
On 20 December 1950, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar bought four superb drawings at a sale. They were portraits of young women done by Leo Gestel (1881-1941) – at least, that is what was thought! Now it it proves that one of the drawings was by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). How could the drawing have acquired an incorrect attribution in the forty years between when it was made and the sale? Who was the sitter? What was her relationship to Mondrian? The mysterious wanderings of an impressive drawing have now been reconstructed in an intimate exhibition and intriguing book.
Fans of the Bergen School can indulge themselves in Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar’s totally renovated top room. Highlights from the museum’s Bergen School collection are on display in the revamped permanent display along with special loans from museum and private collections.
Mention Alkmaar and most Dutch people think of the Victory, cheese or almshouses. But that’s only one side of the story. In 'Portrait of Alkmaar' visitors find out about talented residents and surprising episodes in the city’s history. A modern and interactive presentation about what typifies Alkmaar and what formed it – Alkmaar in a nutshell.
In 'The Golden Age of Alkmaar' gallery visitors enter a world of growth, well-being and wealth. There are paintings by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Maarten van Heemskerck, Willem van de Velde (the Elder), Gerard van Honthorst, Pieter Jansz Saenredam and Jan de Baen. The large collection of paintings by Caesar van Everdingen, Alkmaar’s greatest painter, is outstanding. The museum has eleven paintings by Caesar van Everdingen, among them two impressive militia works.
The whole of the Netherlands knows about the Relief of Leiden, but who remembers that Alkmaar was the first Dutch town to withstand a Spanish siege during the Eighty Years’ War? For many this milestone in the history of the Netherlands appears to have been undeservedly forgotten. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar has changed that. In the permanent display 'Victory! The Siege of Alkmaar in 1573' visitors can experience the Siege from day to day. The period of growth that followed can be seen in ‘The Golden Age of Alkmaar'.