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Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, visited the Van Gogh Museum yesterday. The working visit focused on how the coronavirus crisis is affecting museums and the measures that are being taken to ensure that museum collections can be safely exhibited to the public.
Van Engelshoven: ‘The coronavirus crisis also significantly impacts the Van Gogh Museum. Closing their doors to the public has resulted in a range of concerns, including those of a financial nature, which we discussed. It is heartening to see and hear that the Van Gogh Museum is working hard on feasible plans for the future and is making every effort to ensure that they will soon be able to safely welcome visitors to the museum’.
The Van Gogh Museum reopens to the public on 1 June, so long as the situation permits it. The health and safety of visitors and staff remains the priority. Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Van Gogh Museum: ‘Art – especially the work of Vincent van Gogh – is what unites us; it offers comfort and hope. We are delighted to be able to reopen the Van Gogh Museum to the public, to offer them an inspirational experience with full commitment to their safety. We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our museum’.
In order to ensure that museum visits are as safe as possible, the Van Gogh Museum will welcome a limited number of visitors each day. Tickets are only available through the museum website, which will allow the museum to regulate the number of visitors and distribute visits throughout the day. The museum expects to restart (online) ticket sales on Monday 25 May 2020 for the first visits in June.
The exhibition In the Picture opened on 21 February and was due to remain on display until 24 May 2020. As a result of the measures introduced to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the exhibition – and the rest of the Van Gogh Museum – closed on 13 March. The extension to 30 August will mean that more visitors will have the opportunity to view the exhibition
In the Picture focuses on the genre of artists’ portraits. In addition to numerous self-portraits by Vincent van Gogh, including the renowned Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889) from The Courtauld Gallery in London and Self-Portrait (1889) from the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo – the authenticity of which is no longer doubted – the exhibition also features portraits by artists including Edvard Munch, Thérèse Schwartze, Gustave Courbet, Berthe Morisot and Helene Schjerfbeck.
Peasant Burning Weeds (1883) by Vincent van Gogh, jointly acquired by the Van Gogh Museum and the Drents Museum in November 2019, will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum from 1 June.
Van Gogh painted the work in Drenthe, where he stayed in the autumn of 1883 and captured the landscape in paintings and drawings. This is one of the few paintings from this period to have survived. Peasant Burning Weeds is exhibited alternately at the two museums.
Vincent van Gogh was not only a talented artist, but also an avid letter writer. While the majority of his letters are in the Van Gogh Museum collection, they are rarely put on public display due to their fragility. The exhibition ‘Your loving Vincent’: Van Gogh’s Greatest Letters offers visitors the remarkable opportunity to view some 40 of Vincent van Gogh’s fascinating letters alongside iconic artworks such as The Bedroom (1888), The Sower (1888) and The Potato Eaters (1885).
Ahead of the reopening, the museum is making several Museum Editions (high-quality 3D-reproductions) of Van Gogh’s masterpieces available to Dutch Van Gogh fans nominated as deserving recipients by a friend, neighbour, colleague or family member.
On the website of the Van Gogh Museum, people are invited to make a nomination by saying why they feel that their nominee deserves to have a Van Gogh at home. Participants can state their preference for one of nine different Museum Editions, including Almond Blossom (1890), Sunflowers (1889) and Landscape at Twilight (1890).