The Willet-Holthuysen Museum, located at Herengracht 605, is a beautiful canal house and museum with period rooms and an impressive formal garden. It gives a good impression of what affluent life was like in the 18th and 19th century in Amsterdam for the rich. Three floors are open to the public: the lower ground floor with kitchen and garden (restored in 1972), the first floor and the top floor. The building is a national monument and is curated by the Amsterdam Museum.
The house was built in 1685 for Jacob Hop, mayor of Amsterdam — in 1739 it was redesigned in Louis XIV style. Louisa Holthuysen, widow of art collector Abraham Willet, left the building and all art in it to the city of Amsterdam in 1895 on the condition that it would become a museum bearing their names.
Selections from the collection are shown in alternating exhibitions in the rooms on the first floor. Some of the rooms remain unchanged, while others, such as the kitchen and the Garden room, have been restored in the style of the 18th century. The so-called Gentlemen’s Parlour (Zijkamer) has a painted ceiling from another house on the Herengracht.
I visited the Willet-Holthuysen in December 2019 . Below are some photo impressions (more can be found on the museum’s website).
The museum is closed until the end of February 2021 due to renovations and reconstructions of the period rooms. Opening also depends on when the COVID-restrictions will be lifted, of course.
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