Moco Museum

Since first opening its doors to the public in 2016, the Modern Contemporary Museum in Amsterdam—better known as Moco Museum—has made waves within the city’s legendary cultural scene. Located inside the historic Villa Alsberg on iconic Museumplein, Moco Museum’s permanent collection contains pieces by acclaimed artists like Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tracey Emin, and Yayoi Kusama. Moco Museum also regularly hosts rotating temporary exhibitions of work by some of contemporary art’s leading lights.

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History of Moco Museum

Though Amsterdam’s Moco Museum has only been in operation since 2016, the Museumplein space it occupies today has a long, rich history. Moco Museum currently calls Villa Alsberg home, a stately townhome located next door to the Van Gogh Museum, just down the block from the Stedelijk Museum, and a charming three-minute stroll away from the Rijksmuseum. In fact, Villa Alsberg was originally the home of Eduard Cuypers, a Dutch architect whose influential workshop is often credited with developing the distinctive Amsterdam School of architecture during the first three decades of the twentieth century.

Eduard Cuypers—who was the nephew of Pierre Cuypers, the acclaimed architect most famous for designing Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijksmuseum—designed the Villa himself, and it was in the family’s possession until 1939. From that point, the Villa served at one time or another as a home for priests, a religious school, and as a suite of law offices. Due to the historic nature of the facility, Moco Museum lacks elevators; as a result, the attraction is not accessible to those individuals in wheelchairs.

Moco Museum Highlights

Moco Museum’s compelling offerings are anchored by its permanent collection of modern and contemporary art treasures. Exhibits running on a regular basis at Moco include Modern Masters, a show that brings together work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Yayoi Kusama; and Contemporary Masters, a so-called “rising stars” ensemble featuring Tracey Emin, Marina Abramović, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and many, many more.

For many visitors, Moco Museum’s single biggest highlight is liable to be its tremendous collection of pieces by the iconic street artist Banksy. Tied together here as part of a permanent exhibit entitled Laugh Now, Moco Museum’s Banksy pieces include BeanfieldGirl with Balloon, and Smiling Copper, just to name a few.

As part of its dedication to presenting the finest in cutting-edge contemporary art, Moco Museum stages an assortment of temporary exhibits throughout the year, too. By their very nature, these rotating shows are always changing, but a sample of exhibits staged by Moco in the past few years includes works by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Studio Irma, The Kid, and Daniel Arsham.

More to See and Do at Moco Museum

In the course of the past decade, Moco Museum has become one of Amsterdam’s hottest new attractions. Lovers of modern and contemporary art will want to be aware of a few additional details when preparing to visit.

•If you or someone in your traveling party has mobility concerns, please be advised that not only does Moco Museum lack an elevator, but it contains a lot of stairs.

•The Moco Museum gift shop is the perfect place to pick up an artsy souvenir to take home. This stylishly curated store sells a variety of items related to each one of the temporary exhibits it hosts, and it’s especially known for its wide range of Banksy-themed products.

•Visitors to Moco Museum seeking a truly unique experience should consider purchasing tickets to go on a “Moco Boat Tour.” The Moco Boat Tour package combines admission to the museum with a ticket for a one-hour canal cruise that departs from a nearby scenic bridge.

Why Moco Museum Should Be on Your Must-See List

In a city famous for the wealth of its arts and culture, Moco Museum manages to pull off an impressive feat: it threads the needle between the old and new, pulling together world-famous icons and rising stars of the art world under one roof. At Moco Museum you can see pieces by artistic legends displayed just down the hallway from installations courtesy of tomorrow’s next big thing. Any lover of modern and contemporary art will understand that’s worth the price of admission.