It is exactly a year ago this week that the Van Gogh Museum was first forced to close its doors due to the coronavirus measures. The museum has now once again been closed for a significant length of time, and it is currently not possible to visit the new exhibition Here to Stay: A decade of remarkable acquisitions and their stories. In order to offer the public an impression of the exhibition, from today, the museum is revealing a selection of the key works and stories from Here to Stay online. It goes without saying that visitors will be welcome at the physical Here to Stay exhibition as soon as Dutch museums are allowed to reopen. The exhibition has been extended until 29 August 2021.
Here to Stay
Here to Stay: A decade of remarkable acquisitions and their stories features a large selection of artworks that have been added to the acclaimed museum collection in the past 10 years. The exhibition introduces the full extent of the Van Gogh Museum collection area: from paintings and drawings to prints, sculptures and letters. Most of the remarkable artworks in this exhibition are not by Van Gogh, but rather by his contemporaries. Here to Stay features a surprising array of artists: major names including Edvard Munch, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, but also lesser-known artists such as Henri Guérard and Adolphe Appian.
Aside from the artworks themselves, the stories behind the acquisitions play a central role. Curators offer a glimpse behind the scenes, explain why a museum collects works and why it is so important that museums continue to do so, and also introduce their personal take on the artworks. The stories of people from outside of the museum also accompany the artworks in this exhibition. Especially for Here to Stay, collectors, museum supporters and 10 Amsterdam residents were invited to reveal their favourite acquisitions from the past decade. By introducing the stories of a range of people, including an older resident of the Museum Quarter, a secondary school student, a youth worker from the District of Nieuw-West and the Amsterdam city poet, the museum offers visitors different perspectives on individual works.
From today, part of Here to Stay will be open to everyone on the museum’s website, offering visitors an impression of the exhibition from home. The virtual preview invites visitors to ‘walk’ – just like an actual museum visit – passed several highlights from Here to Stay, allowing them to come face-to-face with the artworks online. The various perspectives – which play such a key role in the exhibition – are illuminated throughout the preview. When viewing Félix Vallotton’s print series Intimités (1897-1898), visitors can select the story of curator Fleur, who describes the work as a ‘ten-round boxing match between the sexes’, or an alternative perspective of the work offered by storage facility manager Hans-Martijn, who recounts the special significance of the artwork to him, as it was the very first piece that he was allowed to put on display in the museum.
VR Sunil Gohil