Throughout the Netherlands the works of Vincent van Gogh are given a place of prominence in museums. The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to one of the world’s most revered Dutch artist. Opened in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum has continued to expand its exhibit space, mission and dedication to the life and works of Vincent van Gogh.
Originally planned and commissioned in 1963, it took another decade before its grand opening. The museum is in Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The Van Gogh Museum attracts over 2 million visitors a year.
The main building of the Van Gogh Museum is a 4-story structure named the Rietveld. The Kurokawa wing is an addition that connects to the main building via an underground tunnel. It is dedicated to major temporary exhibitions. In 2015 a grand Entrance Hall was built between the two buildings giving access to both as well as expanding the capacity for daily visitors, larger conferences as well as special exhibitions and presentations.
The Entrance Hall joining both buildings together utilizes the latest in glass construction techniques while easing the environmental footprint of the museum. Comprised of 20 glass columns, 650 meters of cold bent glass, 30 glass roof fins mounted with 65 tons of steel, it offers a clean, bright, modern entrance to the museum that houses the works of an artistic visionary.
The ground floor of the Rietveld building houses a museum shop that has a major online shopping portal, a café and the introductory to the art exhibit.
The Rietveld first floor is dedicated to a chronological exhibition of the works of Van Gogh. The second floor offers visitors a look at the study of and processes used in the restoration of paintings. It also includes a smaller gallery for temporary exhibits.
The third floor of the Rietveld building exhibits the works of the contemporaries of Vincent van Gogh with a comparative study of the differences. Featured artists include Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac along with others. It also is home to sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Jules Dalou.
The Van Gogh Museum collection consists of 200 paintings, 400 drawings as well as 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh. The permanent collection contains 9 Self Portraits along with the most recognized works of van Gogh including:
The Potato Eaters, 1885
Wheatfield with a Reaper, 1889
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887
Orchards in Blossom, View of Arles, 1889
Wheatfield with Crows, 1890
The Van Gogh Museum is open daily with seasonally adjusted hours. Check the web site for hours, ticket information including online booking.
The Van Gogh Museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the life of Vincent van Gogh in depth. The galleries are arranged so that each visitor can explore either the highlights of the life of Vincent van Gogh or delve into the depths of this renowned Dutch artist. Self-guided multi-media tours guide visitors to the aspects that interest them.
Begin your visit with a brief introduction to the life of Vincent van Gogh, then explore the sections which pique your interest. Sections include:
Stories About Vincent
The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
His influence on artists to this day
The museum also allows visitors to view the paintings by categories, such as, self-portraits, landscapes, or flowers and blossoms. Along with the world’s most in depth experience of the life and art of Vincent van Gogh, the museum is a treasure of scholarly study of this master artist.
Self-Portrait as a Painter, 1887-1888
Vincent van Gogh Painting Sunflowers 1888 by Paul Gauguin
Tulip Fields near The Hague, 1886 Claude Monet
Self-portrait with Portrait of Gauguin, 1888
Peasant Woman Digging, 1885
Gate in the Paris Ramparts, 1887
Window in the Studio, 1889
The Bedroom, 1888
Moulin Rouge, La Goulue, poster for the Dance Hall Le Moulin Rouge, 1891 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige), 1887
Still Life with Bible, 1885
Glass with Yellow Roses, 1886
Small Bottle with Peonies and Blue Delphiniums, 1886
Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 1888
Orchards in Blossom, View of Arles, 1889
Boulevard de Clichy, 1887
Basket of Pansies, 1887
The Reaper (after Millet) 1889
Bank of the Seine, 1887
Square Saint-Pierre at Sunset, 1887
View of the Alpilles, 1890
Prawns and Mussels, 1886
Olive Grove, 1889
Pieta (after Delacroix), 1889
36 Montmartre: Windmills and Allotments, 1887
Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman, 1890
Quinces, Lemons, Pears and Grapes, 1887
Sunflowers Gone to Seed, 1887
Courtesan (after Eisen), 1887
View of a Butcher’s Shop, 1888
Sprig of Flowering Almond in a Glass, 1888
The Cottage, 1885
Beer Tankards, 1885
View of the Sea at Scheveningen, 1882
Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, 1884-1885
Garden of a Bathhouse, 1888
Sketches of vases with sunflowers in sketchbook from Paris and Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh with sketch of The Potato Eaters, Nuenen, 9 April 1885
Restorer consolidates loose paint flakes
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1890-1978) was Vincent van Gogh’s nephew and founder of the Van Gogh Museum.
The reading room in the Van Gogh Museum Library is free without appointment. The museum library houses over 35,000 books and articles. It is located at Gabriël Metsustraat 8.
Throughout the day visitors can seek nourishment and refreshment at the café Le Tambourin. It features salads, lasagna, quiche, a selection of vegetarian dishes along with cakes, pastries, coffees, teas and cold beverages. Entrance to the café Le Tambourin is only through the museum. It offers a view of the Kurokawa Wing and Museumplein.
The Van Gogh Museum Shop offers an extensive collection of all things van Gogh as well as gifts inspired by other Dutch Artists. This is one of the most extensive museum gift shops you will find anywhere with shopping available online. Featuring nine main categories with dozens of sub-categories, the Van Gogh Museum Store literally offers hundreds of choices ranging from children’s books to scholarly dissertations, fashion scarves to table settings. Fans of Vincent van Gogh will relish in the museum shop as much as the galleries. The Museum shop is fully digitalized for online shopping and worldwide shipping.
Story by Daniel Dachille and Laine Page
All photos courtesy of The Van Gogh Museum