Our first adventure in Utrecht was getting out of the city and heading to a tiny town called Ede (pronounced ‘Ada’), by train.
Then we took two different busses to the De Hoge Veluwe Dutch National Park to find the Koller-Muller Museum. These works of art are all in the private collection of the late Helene Kröller-Müller, who bought art all over Europe. Price didn’t seem to be an object.
We were there to see an enormous private Van Gogh collection, but we saw a lot of other things first.
Surrounding the museum are many wide acres of green space, which Mrs. Koller-Mueller filled with dozens of major sculptures. This one, Meneer Jacques, would re-appear later in the day.
The wind and rain were impressive as we waited with other chilly folks for the museum to open.
The featured artist was Fernand Léger, a French artist who studied with Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso. He had a cubist style that was different from either of his mentors, and I found it charming and playful.
We also found a few rooms with Piet Mondrian’s paintings. This Dutch painter has always been a favorite of mine, because so much of his work looks like delightful patchwork quilt.
His early works are more pastel-ish, and his later works become more primary-color oriented. I like them all!
We discovered a new artist (for me, anyway), Charley Toorop. She was a Dutch woman who painted bold, unflinching self portraits. They were not “pretty” or feminine. They were simply beautiful, at all the different stages of her life.
I love her image of herself as young soldier, just after the First World War, where she lost many friends. Later in life, her hair has greyed and is worn longer, but she still looks straight at the viewer. She looks like a very honest person.
By this time we were a bit footsore and very hungry, so we stopped at the cafe (named after Meneer Jacques , the sculpture out front) for chicken wraps and salads.
Before we ate, I lined up the flower vase, a candle, and my wine glass. Seeing art always puts me in the mood to make art!
We had more arty adventures after lunch, and I will tell you about them tomorrow.