I’ve been rather quiet lately because of work and travel! A bit over a week ago, I flew to Amsterdam to participate in a PhD defense, and then traveled to Rome to give a talk and tour the city, which kept me quite busy. As I’ve done in the past, I thought I would do a series of photo essays on my travels.
I flew to Amsterdam on the 18th of June, arriving on the 19th, and pretty much had the entire day to myself, as my former postdoc advisor and his PhD student were taking care of last-minute preparations for her thesis defense. So, after a quick lunch with them, I was set free on the town.
Ready for some culture! I think I always look my most handsome on two occasions: right after a skydive, and right before a museum.
I was staying at the Hotel Piet Hein, which is within a short walking distance to Amsterdam’s magnificent art museum, the Rijksmuseum. When I lived in Amsterdam back around 2003, the museum was mostly closed for major renovations, and so I had never had the opportunity to see it in its full glory. This trip was a nice opportunity to do so!
Panorama of the Rijksmuseum. Note the weird ugly mouth-like sculpture in the pond center-right. No, I have no idea what it’s supposed to be.
The Rijksmuseum was originally founded in 1800 and moved to its current building in 1885. It houses works of art from around the world, but has a particular focus on the Dutch masters like Rembrandt and van Gogh (though obviously most of van Gogh’s work is in the nearby van Gogh museum).
Times have changed in art museums. When I was growing up, photographs were strictly forbidden, but in the cell phone era, only flash photography is prohibited. I was taking photos throughout the museum and, realizing that I had wifi through a cool university system called eduroam, I started posting photos on twitter. The captions of these photos started off sincere, but quickly evolved into being largely irreverent and silly. Heck, if you want a serious tour of a museum, I’m really not the person you should be following!
So, without further ado, let’s begin “A (Largely) Silly Tour of the Rijksmuseum.”
(Note added: all the photos are high-resolution. If you want to see detail, click on a photo and hunt for the “view full size” button.)