The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the work of Vincent Van Gogh. It has the largest collection of Van Gogh's work in the world along with works by various masters who were his contemporaries. Although Van Gogh's art was all but unrecognized during his lifetime, his popularity today draws some two million people each year to the Van Gogh Museum.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 in the southern Netherlands. He unsuccessfully tried several occupations before deciding to become an artist. His work began to blossom after coming to France where he met and associated with the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters. Suffering fro mental illness, Van Gogh committed suicide in 1890.
During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold very few paintings and was dependent on his brother Theo for financial as well as emotional support. As a result, Theo accumulated a large collection of Vincent's works. After Vincent's death, Theo inherited more of Vincent's works.
Theo died six moths after Vincent and the collection passed to Theo's widow Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger. She strove to make the pubic aware of Vincent's work by loaning paintings to exhibitions around the world and by doing such things as publishing the correspondence between Theo and Vincent.
Following her death, the collection passed to her son (Vincent's nephew) Vincent Willem Van Gogh. In 1930, he loaned the family collection to the Stedelijk Museum.
As Vincent's fame grew, calls grew for a museum dedicated to Vincent. As a result, in 1962, Vincent's nephew transferred the collection to the state-intiated Vincent Van Gogh Foundation. The government of the Netherlands undertook to construct a building for the museum. While the building was being constructed, the collection remained on loan to the Stedelijk.
The Van Gogh Museum was opened by Queen Juliana in 1973.
Located in Amsterdam's Museum Square (Museumplein), the Van Gogh Museum is in two connected buildings. The original 1973 building was designed by Gerrit Rietveld. It is now used for exhibitions from the permanent collection. A new building was designed by Kisho Kurokawa opened in 1990. It is used for temporary exhibitions. In 2015, a glassed-in entrance foyer was added.
The museum's collection includes many of Van Gogh's best known works including several of his sunflower paintings and several self-portraits. However, inasmuch as it includes more than 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent, the collection also has unparalleled depth.
In addition to works by Van Gogh, the museum exhibits works by his contemporaries. These put Van Gogh's works in context. However, since his contemporaries were the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, these works are significant in their own right. Among the artists represented are Manet, Monet, Seurat, Gaugain. Toulouse-Lautrec and the sculptor Rodin. As
The Van Gogh Museum has a library, a cafe, and a shop, which offers items inspired by Van Gogh.
For information about visiting, see the Van Gogh Museum's website.
The masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum include Sunflowers (above left); Self-Portrait in a Felt Hat (above right) and the Potato Eaters (below). (Images courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum).
Places to see art - - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - - Van Gogh Museum