Rearranged Van Gogh Museum debuts this week

Vincent van Gogh
Self-Portrait (1887), Vincent van Gogh. Hanging at the Art Institute of Chicago

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has undergone a transformation. In the new design, the development of Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890) as man and painter stand central to the whole building. His paintings have been rehung and his letters and drawings have been given a permanent place.

Famous works, such as The Potato Eaters and Sunflowers, have been given more space. Many works have been restored and some paintings have been hung lower to be more easily viewed by children. For the first time myths about Van Gogh, such as his suicide and his severed ear, are extensively discussed. Instead of telling visitors where and when the works were created, the museum now tells the complete story of Van Gogh's development as an artist. "We want visitors to understand the connections and lines in the collection", says curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho. Visitors will also be able to learn more about the history of the museum and Van Gogh's family and friends. "There is a prevailing myth that he was alone, but he had friendships with numerous other artists." says De Carvalho. "We have reached a new milestone," said Director Axel Ruger yesterday during the press presentation. "It's something we wanted to do for a long time. And for the public it is a new reason to get to know Van Gogh." The Van Gogh Museum currently has some 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Van Gogh and receives about 1.5 million visitors per year. The museum celebrated the new presentation with Van Gogh's heirs on Tuesday. The newly designed Van Gogh museum will be open to the public from Friday.

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