Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, which opened in 1875, is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. The museum manages the Alkmaar City Council collection, with more than 12,000 objects. The collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paintings is outstanding, with masterpieces of national significance. The museum is also known for its large collection of Bergen School works.
Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar is the city of Alkmaar’s memory and the starting point for anyone who wants to experience and discover the history and art of Alkmaar and the surrounding area. This is presented in a topical and personal way in changing and interactive exhibitions for young and old. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar has four permanent displays, see below:
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'.