Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 9: The Van Gogh Museum

The line waiting to buy tickets to the Van Gogh Museum was very long, but we had previously purchased timed tickets online, so we walked right in.

New Entrance to the Van Gogh Museum
Photo by Dan L. Smith

Our visit was less than satisfactory. In the first place, no photography was allowed. In the second place, their special exhibit hall was closed for renovation and expansion, so less art than usual was on view. Worst of all, most of their best work by van Gogh had been shipped off to Oslo for an exhibit comparing him with Edvard Munch. In place of the missing van Goghs was a sort of trumped up exhibit of artists who influenced van Gogh or who were influenced by him. Some of this work was quite good and interesting in itself, but a little disappointing if you're hoping for a feast of van Gogh. Many of his works were on display, but not the best stuff. When we toured the museum in 2003, the collection was intact and we enjoyed it very much.

Of course, most museums dedicated to a particular artist are somewhat disappointing, because the cream of the crop has been skimmed by the really big museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. A dedicated museum usually acts as a repository for lesser work, such as the stuff the artist kept in his studio, either because he loved it or it didn't sell. If you get interested in an artist, you want to see his entire body of work, not just the high points.

Our visit wasn't a bust; we enjoyed the art that we saw. We had a nice lunch in their cafeteria.

Jet-lag hit me again after lunch, and I had to spend the afternoon napping. Captain Dan wandered around the neighborhood of the hotel and viewed a few more works in the sculpture exhibit in the parkway.