The Mondriaan House is to Amersfoort what the Van Gogh Museum is to Amsterdam. This museum on the Korte Gracht is also the artist’s birthplace. The pioneer in abstract art spent some of his life here with his parents, brothers, and sister. The museum opened its doors again on 7 March 2017 after some big renovations.
Tickets for the Mondriaan House cost €12. What’s nice about this museum is that you can leave your bag and jacket in a locker for free, so that you can wander the museum for a long while, without worries. If you get hungry or thirsty during your Mondriaan discovery trip, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and a little cake in the Mondriaan café.
The route in the house starts with a five-minute video presentation. You get a bird’s eye view of the painter’s development on 13 different screens. His work begins with realistic landscapes, but slowly but surely he begins to let go of reality and adopts an abstract style. The video is accompanied by music that matches the phases of Mondriaan’s life.
After the video presentation, it’s clear that Mondriaan didn’t only make abstract work. His early work is on display on the bottom floor, where it’s clear that he began as a professional painter. His father was a drawing teacher and taught him to draw at a young age. He passed the Act on Lower Education for Drawing with help from his uncle, painter Frits Mondriaan. Later, he moved to Amsterdam, where he studied painting at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten. It wasn’t until Mondriaan left for Paris that he became inspired by other artists, leading his style to change.
In the museum, Mondriaan’s studio in Paris has been recreated in full size. In the studio, it’s clear that he said goodbye to realism and was looking for abstract compositions. Through the furniture, paintings, and mirrors on the walls, Mondriaan’s characteristic style is evident. Don’t be alarmed if you suddenly see the spirit of Mondriaan appear here. You can see him in the kitchen, on the couch while he smokes a cigarette, and sometimes he puts on some music.
A second video presentation can be seen in the New York room. As you walk into the room, you see a gigantic cube; it’s not immediately clear that this is the basis for the video presentation. On, in, and outside the cube, Mondriaan’s life in New York is shown, along with the artworks he created in this period, like the famous ‘Victory Boogiewoogie’.
The tour of the Mondriaan House ends in the DIY studio, where every visitor can create his or her own artwork. This room is great for children. For example, there’s a Lego wall and tables with baskets of colors, glue, colored paper, and paint. Everything a kid needs to become a famous artist!