Sandbergplein 1

1181 ZX
Phone: +31 (0)20 5475050
Fax: +31 (0)20 5475025
Website: http://www.cobra-museum.n

Cobra – Museum Of Modern Art

CoBrA, a dangerous snake?

A cobra is indeed a dangerous snake, but here the word Cobra is derived from the French names of the cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The artists who founded the CoBrA group during a major international conference held in Paris in 1948 came from these three European capitals. A curled snake became the symbol of the movement.

It was in the Paris café Notre Dame that Asger Jorn (from Copenhagen), Joseph Noiret and Christian Dotremont (from Brussels) and Constant, Corneille and Karel Appel (from Amsterdam) signed the manifesto 'La Cause était entendue’ (The Case was Heard). This manifesto, drawn up by Dotremont, was a response to a statement by the French Surrealists entitled 'La Cause est entendue' (The Case is Heard). In it Dotremont makes it clear they are no longer in agreement with the French artists. The CoBrA painters wanted to break new ground, preferring to work spontaneously and with the emphasis more on fantastic imagery. In 1951 the CoBrA movement was officially disbanded, yet during its short existence CoBrA rejuvenated Dutch modern art.

The CoBrA style

The CoBrA artists painted directly and spontaneously. Just like children, they wanted to work expressively without a preconceived plan, using their fantasy and much colour. They rebelled against the rules of the art academies and aimed at a form of art without constraint. They also explored working with all kinds of materials: the experimental was paramount. The Danish CoBrA artists were already experimenting well before the Second World War and Asger Jorn encouraged Constant Nieuwenhuys to do the same in the N... [ Read all ]

Permanent Collection

CoBrA collection

Outstanding works from the museums unique CoBrA collection are permanently on show. Works by Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Eugène Brands, Anton Rooskens, Henry Heerup, Asger Jorn, Carl-Henning Pedersen for example.
CoBrA has been of crucial importance for the development of modern art in the Netherlands. The art of the international CoBrA movement is one of the country’s most important post-war artistic legacies.

Who are the Cobra artists?

The core of the CoBrA group consisted of the aforementioned painters who had signed the manifesto. They were soon joined by many other artists and in the end over forty artists were members of the CoBrA movement or indirectly involved. Not only painters, but also sculptors, poets, photographers and filmmakers felt drawn to CoBrA’s aims. Below is an alphabetical list of the group’s leading members:
from Denemarken: Mogens Balle, Ejler Bille, Henry Heerup, Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen.
from België: Pierre Alechinsky, Hugo Claus, Reinhoud d'Haese.
from Nederland: Eugène Brands, Lucebert, Jan Nieuwenhuys, Anton Rooskens, Theo Wolvecamp.
Artists from countries other than the original three also took part, including:
Jean Michel Atlan (Algeria), Jacques Doucet (France), William Gear and Stephen Gilbert (Scotland), Karl Otto Götz (Germany) and Shinkichi Tajiri (America).


'Corneille. Some of these days'
19.06.2007 - 30.09.2007

This summer the Cobra Museum celebrates the 85th birthday of Corneille, one of the most sparkling artists of the CoBrA movement.

Previous Exhibitions

Two major Cobra exhibitions: Amsterdam 1949 and Liège 1951

During its brief existence two major CoBrA exhibitions took place - one in Amsterdam in 1949 and the other in Liège in 1951.

In Amsterdam the then director of the Stedelijk Museum, Willem Sandberg, made seven rooms available to artists from ten different countries. Sandberg was an extremely progressive man and was keen to show work of new artists. Most of the paintings were small as the artists had little money to spare, so Sandberg decided to give them an advance in order to buy materials. In the week preparing for the show Appel, Constant, Corneille and Brands found time to make a few large canvases. Appel even produced two, while Corneille made a cube instead of a painting on a flat canvas.

The exhibition was designed by Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck, who was extremely enthusiastic about the spontaneous way in which the Dutch CoBrA artists worked. He did this in a highly unconventional manner. He hung the canvases at different heights, sometimes three metres off the ground. He set up a few works against the skirting-board of a wall. For the work of the Dutch poets in the group he made a large cage of black slats and placed this against the wall of a small room painted black. Between the slats he hung word paintings, poetry anthologies and individual slogans. Poems by others not considered ‘good’ by the exhibiting poets were stuck onto the wall and marked with a huge cross. The Dutch experimental poets wanted to scrap these altogether. Visitors to the exhibition heard African drum rolls in the background. There was an outcry in the papers about the exhibition. The art critic of Het ...+ [ Read all ]

Exhibitions (3)

Click on the images to enlarge


Forthcoming exhibitions

China Now - art in a time of change
29.09.2007 - 27.01.2008

Arresting and challenging, the exhibition China Now offer an extensive look at Chinese art of today. A special feature of this exhibition is that it has been compiled by Feng Boyi, one of the first to curate shows of Chinese avant-garde art. He has selected more than 75 works by 40 different artists; many of these works come from the Essl Museum in Vienna. Recent artwork direct from China supplements this exhibition. China Now will run from 29 September 2007 to 27 January 2008.

Amstelveen Triennial 2007
06.10.2007 - 28.10.2007

The Amsterdam Triennial is to take place at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art Amstelveen from 6 - 28 October

This year the Triennial has as its theme: Dialogue with Cobra

Last spring artists were invited to enter into a dialogue with top works from the CoBrA collection. In recent years the Museum has been able to acquire very special CoBrA art works, in part with the assistance of the BankGiro Lottery, the Rembrandt Society, the Mondrian Foundation and the VSB Fund. The artists chose a companion piece for their entry from a choice of fifteen CoBrA works in the collection. From the many entries submitted, eighteen dialogue works were selected, which can be seen next to the relevant CoBrA art works, with a short artist's statement, during the Triennial.

The eighteen chosen artists are: Fritz Behrendt, Sharon van den Berg, Isabelle Duval, Hans Fransen, Ramaz Goiati, Michel Hoekstra, Hilly Immink-Van der Weele, Stef Kreymborg, Achnaton Nassar, Fahrettin Örenli, Herman Pijnaker, Piet Reekers, Stephanie Rhode, Ulric Roldanus, Joop Rubens, Jan Verschoor, Júlia dos Santos Bapti...+ [ Read all ]


Adults € 7,00
0 - 5 years (groups excluded) free
6 – 18 years € 3,00
Jobless/65+/city pass/students - 27 y € 4,00
Museum Card free

Adult groups € 6,00
Friends of Cobra Museum free
members Vereniging Rembrandt free

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday
11.00 - 17.00 hours

Monday, 25 Dec., 1 Jan., 30 Apr.

other public holidays (also when on Monday and 5 May)

Getting there

Please click here for a map

By car

Coming from the direction Amersfoort, Utrecht, A9
- to the right, turnoff ‘Amstelveen’ (orange screen)
- follow direction ‘centrum’ (centre)
- follow signs with museum symbol (parking garage)

Coming from the direction Haarlem, Schiphol, A9
- to the right, turnoff ‘Amstelveen’
- keep left, direction ‘centrum’
- trafic lights, turn right
- follow signs with museum symbol (parking garage)

Coming from the highway A10
- turn off ‘Amstelveen’
- follow signs direction Amstelveen (continue)
- ‘Amstelveenseweg’
- ‘Amsterdamseweg’
- follow ‘Keizer Karelweg’ direction Amstelveen centre
- follow signs with museum symbol (parking garage)

Public transport

NS Amsterdam Central Station: tram 5 – stopping-place ‘Amstelveen Binnenhof’
NS Amsterdam Central Station: metro/sneltram 51 – stopping-place ‘Amstelveen Centrum’
NS Amsterdam Zuid/WTC: tram 5
NS Amsterdam Zuid/WTC: bus 199, stopping-place Gustav Mahlerlaan Amsterdam: bus 170, 171, 172
NS station Schiphol: bus 300 ‘Zuidtangent’
NS station Haarlem: bus 300

Busses: stopping-place ‘Bus Station Amstelveen’ opposite the Cobra Museum of Modern Art building.


You can visit our café restaurant for tea or coffee and something delicious to go with it! We also have an attractive luncheon menu with hot or cold dishes and a good selection of wines.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Friday 10.00am - 05.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10.00am - 05.00 pm

Museums Shop

T 020 5475058
E bedrijfsleiding@cobra-

Certain books and magazines published by the museum can be ordered by email. A minimum purchase of 10 euros is required, however. As soon as your order is received you will be invoiced for the items plus mailing costs. On receipt of payment we will then mail you your order.
Prices (excluding mailing costs).De taal van Cobra € 21,00
Het kind in Cobra € 15,00

Museum internal and external photos (5)

Click on the images to enlarge


The CoBrA’s way

A few CoBrA artists were not only involved with making art works but also with theorising about art and the role of the artist in society. Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont and Constant Nieuwenhuys were very much preoccupied with this. They positioned themselves according to the communist theories of Karl Marx and supplemented his ideas with views on art. Their aim was to have art made for and by everyone, irrespective of class, race, intellect and educational level. Jorn, Dotremont and Constant aspired to an art form that spontaneously evolved out of the artist’s fantasy.

Jorn wrote about the relationship between art and architecture, seeing both inextricably linked. He used a photograph of a primitive hut decorated by its occupants to show how beautiful the combination could be. Jorn’s ideals were realised in several collaborative projects by the CoBrA artists.


Guided tours

Guided tours by professional art historiancs can be aranged in our exhibitions.

Guided tour, duration one hour, groups up to 20 personsGuided tour in Dutch € 70,00
English, German or French € 80,00

(Excluding entrance fee).

Reservations and information
Phone +31 (0) 20 5475033


Children's guided tour

On Sundays starting at 13.00 hours there is a tour specially for children (free of charge, all ages).

Reservations and information
Phone +31 (0) 20 5475033


The Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen is awarded biennially to an artist living in the Netherlands working in an innovative and experimental sense. The prize consists of the sum of 10,000 euro plus an exhibition with accompanying catalogue in the Cobra Museum of Modern Art Amstelveen.

The Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen 2005 has been awarded to Joost Conijn.

Johannes Schwartz is the winner of the CoBrA Art Prize Amstelveen 2007.

Visit the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen website


Friends are the Cobra Museum's supporters; they visit the exhibitions, are our guests at special receptions and enjoy discounts on many products sold in the museum shop

You can become a Friend for as little as € 25

For this sum you will receive
- free entry on presentation of a Friends-pass
- invitations to special receptions (approx. 4 times a year)
- 10% discount on most purchases in the museum shop
- a welcome gift

- This can be done personally during opening hours (Tuesday to Sunday from 11-17).
- Over the phone from Monday to Friday from 9.00-17.00, by calling us on 020 5475045.

You can pay straight away at the cash desk or ask for an invoice to be sent to your address.
Your subscription is valid for at least one calendar year and will be automatically renewed unless you apply in writing well in advance, that is before 1st December, to have it cancelled.


Cobra Museum Business Club

Ever since it first opened the Cobra Museum has maintained a warm contact with many large and small companies. We owe this in no small part to architect Wim Quist's splendid museum design, our growing CoBrA collection and the reputation the museum has acquired for numerous interesting and distinctive exhibitions
Mutually inspiring

One of our corporate associates together with Amstelveen municipal council recently took the initiative to set up the Cobra Museum Business Club in order to give more structure to our links with business. In the first instance, the link to the club offers an excellent platform to meet each other periodically throughout the year. Members can take advantage of the attractive benefits we offer, while the Cobra Museum is supported by the Business Club when organising exhibitions, educational events or other activities.

Venue hire

Children’s birthday parties

How about a celebratory birthday party with small friends at the Cobra Museum? No problem. Creative talent is unleashed as soon as children come face to face with the experimental works of the CoBrA artists. The museum supervisor is experienced and skilled and knows just how to excite and stimulate children with an interesting project.
The applied technique is paint on canvas.

The cost for the activity session is 80 euros including admission and material for up to 12 children.
It is necessary that a parent or chaperone remain with the children.
Length of session: 75 mins.

We are also happy to organize sessions during the school holidays.