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The 2011 Study Trip, Holland: Decorative Arts, Interiors, Gardens and Architecture, was day after beautiful day of just that. Starting in Amsterdam and ending in The Hague (by way of Apeldoorn for Het Loo!) Trust members were enchanted by curators’ insights of the best decorative arts collections both public and private and fine art collections that were continually breathtaking. Being surrounded by the historic architecture of Amsterdam changed to the dense woods and modern Kroller-Muller Museum near Otterloo. The lovely private homes with warm and generous hospitality beautifully balanced with the brilliant mid-day boating on the Vecht River, a waterway used in the 17th and 18th centuries to take wealthy Dutch merchants to their country homes along the river. And, modern Rotterdam, still a busy port, was full of industrious young people. From city to city, countryside to waterway, Trust members experienced a full view of Holland, its experts and its beauty.


Our wonderful group in the gardens of the grand baroque Kasteel Middachten: (L-R .) Front Row: Penny Hunt, Dee Akre, Mary Lee Anderson, Mary Ann Conn-Brody, Susan Parsell, Michael Frederick, Nancy Small, Helen Scott Reed, Peter Dessauer. Second Row: John Hunt, Frances Roxburgh, Chris Mumm, Jean Harrell, Chuck Akre. Great apologies to Mary Hale McLean (not pictured) who was probably contemplating those beautiful flower arrangements in the Kasteel or getting the low-down on that fold-out “tea” server in the dining room!

Approaching Kasteel Middachten with its extravagant façade of stone giving it a heightened sense of grandeur. The use of stone in a country that has no quarries is always an extravagance.

Trust members listen to a member of the Nieuwe Kerk (St. Ursula) in Delft, explain that to make ends meet and stay as an active church, shops are allowed to set up inside during the week for markets.



Carving in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

The “pot garden” at Kasteel Middachten is filled with the plants and fruit trees that were over-wintered in the orangerie.

Exceptional guide and collection at the Kroller-Muller Museum. This museum was named after Helene Kroller-Muller (1869–1939) who collected 11,500 art objects and became the owner of the largest private van Gogh collection in the world, other than the van Gogh family. The modern museum designed by Henry van de Velde sits within a vast wooded estate near Otterloo that was once the home to the Kroller-Muller family.

A view from within the Kroller-Muller museum looking out to an atrium garden.

Trust members enjoyed a beautiful sunny day boat cruise down the Vecht River. Wonderful early architecture and landscapes greeted us all along the way to our end at the historic village of Loenen.

Kasteel Middachten in Gelderland was first documented in 1190. It was rebuilt at the end of the 1600s by Jacob Roman, one of the designers of Paleis Het Loo, for Godard van Reede and this grand Baroque building is still privately owned today.

Historic village of Loenen.

A garden along the Vecht River in the village of Loenen.

A delightful luncheon party at Het Huys Ten Donck hosted by the bright and beautiful Catharina Groeninx van Zoelen (at the end of the table).The first owner of this 18th century house was a member of the board of Dutch East India Company, which made him one of the wealthiest men of his time. The heart of the house is the first floor drawing room, pictured here, and has been described as “staggeringly lavish for a Dutch house.”