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Van Gogh Museum to move Van Gogh masterworks to Hermitage Amsterdam for seven months

Museumplein building to close from 24 September 2012 to 1 May 2013 for essential renovation

Sunflowers, The bedroom, Irises, Wheatfield with crows and The potato eaters are among the 75 masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum to be temporarily relocated to the Hermitage Amsterdam. Museum director Axel Rüger comments, “The building of the Van Gogh Museum on Amsterdam’s Museumplein is closing for seven months for essential renovation work. During this period, from 29 September to 25 April 2012, our visitors’ favourite works will be featured in the presentation Vincent. The Van Gogh Museum in the Hermitage Amsterdam.”

On 1 May 2013, the museum will reopen on Museumplein with the major survey exhibition Van Gogh at Work, marking the Van Gogh Museum’s 40th anniversary.”

Vincent. The Van Gogh Museum in the Hermitage Amsterdam
Axel Rüger continues, “As is well known, we are very happy that the greatest works of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) will remain on public display in the Hermitage Amsterdam during this essential renovation work. Vincent. The Van Gogh Museum in the Hermitage Amsterdam will shed a completely new light on works by Vincent van Gogh from our own collection. This display of some 75 paintings, selected letters and works on paper, and special objects will allow visitors to follow Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) on a personal quest into the heart of his artistic identity. Based on the themes that the artist himself identified as central to his development, the presentation will run from 29 September 2012 to 25 April 2013 in the Hermitage Amsterdam.” Because of the move to and from the Hermitage, there will be two brief five-day periods when the collection is not on public display: from 24 to 28 September 2012 and from 25 to 30 April 2013.

Van Gogh Mile runs from Van Gogh Museum to Hermitage Amsterdam
“We are doing everything we can to get the word out to our visitors, but for art lovers who nevertheless find themselves at the Museumplein building during the closure, we will organise multiple forms of transport to the Hermitage Amsterdam,” Rüger explains. “One of them is the Van Gogh Mile, designed by the artist Henk Schut: a 2.2-kilometre-long red line five metres off the ground, which guides visitors along an inspirational walking route to our museum’s temporary location on the Amstel and physically connects the Van Gogh Museum with the Hermitage Amsterdam.”

Van Gogh Museum to reopen in Museumplein on 1 May 2013 with Van Gogh at Work
Some of the museum adaptations required to meet new fire safety standards were carried out in 2010. By agreement with the Government Buildings Agency (which owns the building) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the second stage must be completed by mid-2014. Axel Rüger says, “Because the climate-control and security systems have to be turned off for this purpose, we must temporarily move the collection and close the building. We are making that move in late September because then we have a wonderful opportunity to exhibit our collection in the Hermitage Amsterdam, keeping it on display for our many visitors from the Netherlands and around the world. After renovation, we will reopen in Museumplein on 1 May 2013. This will be the museum’s 40th anniversary, and we will celebrate with the major exhibition Van Gogh at Work.

By then, our building will be in top shape for the record visitor numbers we expect in 2013. It will be a big year for Amsterdam. Besides our 40th anniversary, there will be all sorts of other festive occasions, such as the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, the 400th anniversary of Amsterdam’s canal ring, the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the 125th anniversary of the Concertgebouw building and orchestra. Next year, Amsterdam will be in the spotlights, attracting large numbers of people. Once our renovation is complete, we will be one hundred percent prepared.”

The Van Gogh Museum in 2012-2013

24 September 2012: Van Gogh Museum closes Museumplein building
24-28 September 2012: Major works move to Hermitage Amsterdam; setup for presentation
29 September 2012 until 25 April 2013: Vincent. The Van Gogh Museum at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
1 May 2013: Van Gogh Museum reopens with Van Gogh at Work