The Netherlands have been busy with a long over due modernisation programme. Two major museums which have seen complete renovation are The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which reopened last week and the Van Gogh Museum nearby. The Rijksmuseum is home to some of the worlds greatest masterpieces including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and other figures of Holland’s “Golden Age”. It was shut for 10 years for complete renovation. The Van Gogh Museum designed in 1963-64 by Gerrit Rietveld will now follow close on the heals of the Rijksmuseum by reopening on 1 May. It will be marked by an anniversary exhibition titled “Van Gogh at Work”.
The exhibition will explore the short space of ten years in Van Gogh’s life when he developed into a unique artist with an impressive oeuvre. This exhibition is based on the results of an ambitious research programme carried out by the Van Gogh Museum together with its ‘Partner in Science’, Shell Nederland, and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE). It will mark the close of eight years of investigating Van Gogh’s working methods and illustrate the painter’s development with 200 works by the artist and his contemporaries. Microscopes and paint samples will help visitors to discover how he worked and mastered new skills. Unique combinations will be formed by Van Gogh and his contemporaries from the museum’s own collection, shown alongside exceptional art works on loan, together shedding light on Van Gogh’s fascinating career.
The jubilee exhibition Van Gogh at work, heralding the Van Gogh Museum’s re-opening on 1 May after its refurbishment, focuses on Van Gogh’s way of working: how he learnt his art and what his studio practice consisted of. The exhibition is based on an elaborate and ambitious research programme by the museum in co-operation with its Partner in science Shell Nederland and the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE). The completion of eight years’ research, the exhibition provides an insight into Van Gogh’s development in 200 of his works and those of his contemporaries. Visitors will also be able to experience how he learnt and worked, with the aid of microscopes and paint samples. Many top pieces of the museum’s own collection together with remarkable borrowed items provide unique combinations that illustrate how in ten years Van Gogh developed into a unique artist with an impressive oeuvre.
A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a unique experience. The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Van Gogh in the world. It provides the opportunity to keep track of the artist’s developments, or compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century in the collection. The museum also holds an extensive programme of exhibitions on various subjects from 19th-century art history.