NEW YORK -- The Netherlands' renowned Rijksmuseum broke ground last
month on a small satellite branch to open at Amsterdam's Schiphol
Airport by the end of November.
The new Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol, touted as the first
airport exhibition center to be opened by any major museum
worldwide, will house a permanent exhibition of about 10 works by
the 17th centu-ry Dutch Golden Age, including a portrait of
Saskia van Uylenburgh by Rembrandt.
Other artists on display will include Barent Avercamp, Pieter de
Hoogh, Gerrit Berckheyde, Abraham Mignon, Jan Steen, Jacob van
Ruisdael, Melchior d'Hondecouter and Cornelis Bouwmeester.
In addition, small exhibits of other works from the Rijksmuseum
proper and other Dutch institutions will be organized on site
several times a year by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural
The 1,141-square-foot museum will consist of a gold-colored hall
suspended above the Holland Boulevard between concourses E and F,
with an 800-square-foot museum shop occupying the space below.
Several Internet stations will offer more information on the
Rijksmuseum's collections; museum admission will be free of
Schiphol officials hailed the groundbreaking as the next logical
step in their airport development plans.
"[This] museum will significantly enhance the existing airport
facilities and adds a new dimension to the AirportCity concept,"
said Leon Verhallen, director of passenger airline marketing at
The AirportCity philosophy envisions the airport -- where 40
works of art by a coterie of international artists already enliven
both the infrastructure and public areas -- less as a transit point
and more as a dynamic "bubbling city" where travelers interact in
shops, cafes, a supermarket and, come fall, a world class
Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's busiest leisure and business
travel hubs, handled 39.5 million passengers in 2001, a mere 0.2%
fewer than the year before, despite the aftermath of the Sept. 11
Verhallen said the museum facility will offer passengers "a
first view of the possibilities posed by a visit to Amsterdam
As the Rijksmuseum will be located beyond security checkpoints,
access will be limited to those holding tickets for travel.