Cultural Trip To The Netherlands

On the last day of term, 14 December, Mr McGregor, Head of Art led a cultural trip, with 30 students from Years 10 to 13 and two members of staff, to The Netherlands where they visited some of the finest museums in the world.

He writes: ‘We arrived in the early evening at the hotel based in Sloterdijk, just outside Amsterdam’s city centre. Saturday dawned grey as we clambered onto the coach for the short trip to the Louwmans Museum just outside the Hague. Holding a collection of some 250 cars, the Louwman is the oldest privately owned car collection in the world. Amassed by the Louwman family over two generations, the collection holds an amazing collection of vehicles, both old and new, including iconic cars such as James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. Leaving the Louwman we headed into the centre of The Hague via the embassy quarter to visit the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, showing collections of  contemporary art and the Fotomuseum Den Haag with its contemporary photography galleries.

Sunday was to be another busy day with everyone down for breakfast at 7.30am, followed by a tram ride to Museumplein and the van Gogh Museum. Vincent van Gogh needs no introduction and the collection of work never fails to amaze as it traces his artistic career, both his triumphs and tragedies through to his death at Auvers-sur-Oise in 1890.

With the thermometer plummeting and snow in the air we headed into the Stedelijk Museum next door to look at some more contemporary international art and video installations. Feeling a little dazed from culture overload the group slipped and slid down to Rembrandtplein for a coffee and some hot food before a cruise through the canals of Amsterdam tracing the history of this spectacular city. The final destination for the evening was de Kroonprins restaurant near Centraal Station for an evening meal, before boarding the tram for a rattling ride back to the hotel.

With our final day upon us, everyone was up early for breakfast and the return tram ride into the city for a visit to the Rijksmuseum. One of the greatest museums in the world, the Rijks holds major collections of the Dutch masters; Rembrandt, Vermeer and de Hooch amongst others. Although overwhelming in its scale and richness of collections, the trick is to view a few key pieces on any visit (without getting lost!).

Our final visit was to Anne Frank’s House at Prinsengracht. Many will have read her diary, and a visit to her house and the secret annexe where the family lived is a must for anyone who visits Amsterdam, all were moved by the honesty and sensitivity of her words.

With a final good bye to Dam Square we headed back to the airport for the flight home, culturally enriched and with a sense of perspective on Dutch history. A very big thankyou to Miss Benson and Mr Jones who helped make the trip possible and Goed Gedaan! to all the students for their excellent sense of humour, patience and good manners – a real credit to BMS.’