125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death to be commemorated in 2015

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March 11, 2014

On 29 July 2015 it will be exactly 125 years since Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) died. The Van Gogh Europe Foundation, a collaboration of around 30 organisations is seizing this opportunity to honour the Dutch artist under the theme ‘125 years of inspiration’. The stimulus for this is that the artist inspires many people to this very day and that he is still very much ‘alive’, even 125 years after his death. Activities will be organised throughout the year in various towns in Holland, Belgium, France and England that featured in the life and work of the artist. Never before has there been cooperation on this scale between the organisations (museums and heritage sites) which are actively engaged in preserving and promoting Van Gogh’s heritage.
 
From 24 January to 17 May 2015 the Mons 2015 Foundation, in its role as European Capital of Culture will stage the exhibition Van Gogh in the Borinage, the birth of an artist in the BAM Museum (Museum of Fine Arts). During his stay of almost two years in the Borinage (1878-1880) Vincent van Gogh ended his career as a preacher and chose to become an artist. In Belgium he quickly developed a love of the aspects of everyday life of peasants and workers. About 70 paintings and drawings from various international collections will be on display in this exhibition, including major loans from the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum.

In the Kröller-Müller Museum Van Gogh & Co will take place from 25 April to 27 September. The exhibition will concentrate on the traditional genres at the end of the 19th century: still life, vista/perspective, nature, cityscape and portrait. Works by Van Gogh - more than 50 in total including paintings and drawings - from various periods will be combined with those of his contemporaries from the museum’s own collection. Visitors will have the chance to draw parallels and discover how Van Gogh dealt with the various genres.

The North Brabant Museum (Het Noordbrabants Museum) is in discussion with the internationally acclaimed artist, designer, entrepreneur and pioneer Daan Roosegaarde (b.1979) about an exhibition (June to August 2015) inspired by Van Gogh. Studio Roosegaarde has previously developed a 600 metre innovative cycle track for the Eindhoven region inspired by the famous painting ‘Starry Night’ (Museum of Modern Art, New York), as part of the Van Gogh cycle route which was opened in May 2013. It is expected that the interactive cycle track will be completed by autumn 2014.

The Van Gogh Museum will unveil its ambitious exhibition Munch : Van Gogh (25 September 2015 to 17 January 2016). Both Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch (1863-1946) are renowned for their emotionally charged paintings and drawings, their personal and innovative styles and lives filled with hardship. Both strove to modernise art by portraying existential and universal themes in expressive visual language. Despite the many striking parallels in their works and artistic ambitions, plus the fact that they are regarded as each other's counterparts, these great masters have never before been brought together in one exhibition.

Apart from these larger museum projects numerous activities are being prepared at the various heritage sites. The 2014 cultural season (5 April to 31 August) in Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh died and was buried already has a Van Gogh theme under the name ‘In the footsteps of Van Gogh’ and this theme will continue into 2015 and 2016. Also throughout 2015 activities inspired by Van Gogh’s life and work will be organised at locations in Brabant where Van Gogh lived and worked. These programme details will be announced later this year.

Van Gogh Europe Foundation

Four organisations form the basis of the Van Gogh Europe Foundation: the Van Gogh Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, Van Gogh Brabant and Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture. Under the collective name of Van Gogh Europe they form the core of collaboration between about 30 organisations in Holland, Belgium, France and England which are actively engaged in promoting Van Gogh’s heritage.

Details of events happening in England will be announced later this year.