AAMU is a unique museum in the centre of Utrecht which exhibits contemporary Aboriginal art from Australia.
It is the only museum of its kind in Europe that is exclusively dedicated to Aboriginal visual arts and culture.
The Aboriginal Art museum is located on the Oudegracht canal and is not far from Utrecht's famous Dom tower. This private museum opened its doors in 2001.
The museum is housed over 3 floors. The ground and 1st floors are used as temporary exhibition space - these change 2-3 times per year and often feature Aboriginal influences on Western artists. The ground floor also contains a small auditorium which shows an introductory film (Dutch but with English subtitles) about the museum and on the origins of aboriginal art.
The film mentions the various styles of art from different regions of Australia which can be seen in the museum's permanent collection on the top floor. These include bark paintings from Arnhemland, paintings from the Kimberleys and central desert area, pole sculptures of Aurukun and more contemporary paintings and photos from metropolitan Australia. The top floor also has a children's workshop area with an interesting map of Aboriginal Australia.
There is a conservatory café on the ground floor selling drinks and snacks plus a small outside terrace garden. The museum shop next to the entrance sells books, posters, postcards and Aboriginal items such as boomerangs and didgeridoos. The adjoining museum gallery store sells authentic Aboriginal art pieces sourced either from art co-operatives or directly from artists - although prices are by no means cheap.
To sum, an enjoyable visit particularly if you have interest in Australia and Aboriginal culture. It would perhaps be good to have more English information on display rather than using laminated hand-out sheets.
Aboriginal Art Museum Essential Info
Opening Times: Tue-Fri 1000-1700, Sat & Sun 1100-1700. Closed Mon.
Admission Prices (2016): Adults €9, children 4-17 €5. FREE entry to children 0-3 and Museumcard holders. Guided tours are available for €3 per person (+ admission) on Sundays at 1430.
Getting There: Oudegracht is right in the heart of the centre and the museum is a 15 minute walk from the station. Alternatively take U-OV bus 2 (direction: Museumkwartier) to the stop Hamburgerstraat, near the museum.
Aboriginal Art Museum, Oudegracht 176, Utrecht
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