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Our writer Leanne has braved the crowds at the Moco Museum in Amsterdam help you decide whether it’s worth a visit to see Banksy and other artists’ work within the permanent collection. She also includes tips for making the most of your Moco Museum visit in Amsterdam!
The Modern Contemporary Museum (Moco), is a privately-owned boutique museum located in the heart of Amsterdam. It offers a unique interactive experience of contemporary art. You can expect pieces by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Banksy.
As well as the permanent installations, the Moco Museum also displays exhibitions co-created with artists like Icy & Sot and Daniel Arsham. (Note: the temporary exhibitions change regularly.) The pieces by these artists consider time, space, light, energy, and political and social issues such as refugees, acceptance, violence, freedom, and love. You’ll be thinking about your own values and way of life, long after you’ve left the museum. The featured artworks within the museum challenge your perspectives of popular culture and the irony of modern society.
The Moco Museum
The Moco Museum is nestled between some of the other museum greats that Amsterdam has to offer, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Situated on Museumplein, the Villa Alsbery, is home to the Moco Museum. The authenticity of the villa has been maintained and the history of its design in 1904 celebrated by owners, Lionel Logchies and Kim Logchies-Prins.
The building was designed by Eduard Cuypers, the nephew of Pierre Cuypers who designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station. So, the building is an experience itself. Think traditional Dutch architecture punctuated by modern street art from around the world.
Permanent Collection of the Moco
Exhibitions are displayed throughout the different levels of the villa which challenge your senses. The permanent works by Hirst & Dali, Koons, Haring, Basquiat, Kusama and Warhol are often unexpected and politically themed. As are the unauthorized collection of Banksy pieces. His iconic works including, ‘Girl with Balloon’, ‘Flower Thrower’, ‘Laugh now’ and many others are on display indefinitely.
Many of the works at the Moco Museum were first seen in subways and streets and some are displayed in their original forms, for example on wooden doors, which gives the museum a unique atmosphere. Big brands such as Disney, Dior and H&M feature in the permanent exhibitions highlighting the relevance the art has to current society and modern consumerism.
Tips for visiting the Moco Musueum
Be aware that during peak times (weekends and between 11-17hr), the museum can feel quite crowded. Discounted tickets are available outside these peak hours on weekdays as the museum is open until 7 pm. (If you have the
Book your tickets online for a discount and more importantly to skip the (often long) line on arrival. Particularly useful as you may have to queue in the rain to purchase your ticket, as I saw many people doing. Student and group discounts are also available and children under 10 are free.
While at the Moco Museum, don’t forget to take a photo on the pink stairs and to immerse yourself in the 3D installation room by Roy Lichtenstein. While the block
The Moco Garden is your final experience of the museum. Those at the Moco Museum invite you to, like Alice in Wonderland, stroll through the garden and ‘get lost on your way’. The pieces within the garden are also international and constantly changing. Climb up onto the Horseback of Marcel Wander’s ‘Tempter’, and give the huge red gummy bear a hug.
Unlike many museums in the Netherlands, the Moco museum permits photography but don’t use flash to help maintain the integrity of the art.
Is it worth visiting the Moco Museum?
The irony of going to a museum to see the works from artists who throughout their careers have fought against the institutionalization of art shouldn’t be lost. However, the Moco Museum sensitively displays these pieces, so their meaning isn’t lost. The Moco Museum makes contemporary art accessible to everyone, regardless of your knowledge and interest in art. It’s worth a visit!
Getting to the Moco Musuem
The Moco Museum is right along Museumplein, between the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum in the center of Amsterdam. You can easily take the tram 2 or 12 to the Rijksmuseum stop from Amsterdam Centraal. There’s available bike parking as well as car parking.
The historical villa of the Moco Museum features multiple levels which can only be reached by stairs. Unfortunately, this means the museum is not wheelchair accessible.