Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam refurbishment complete

Museum ready for fitting out before re-opening on 1 may 2013. The refurbishment of the Van Gogh Museum on the Museumplein in Amsterdam has now been completed.

The museum is starting the fitting out of its as yet empty building with the large jubilee exhibition entitled Van Gogh at work which will herald its re-opening on 1 May 2013. Adriaan Dönszelmann, the museum’s new managing director said, “Because of the support we were given by the Dutch Government Buildings Agency and our contractors, we have been able to complete this project successfully, within budget and inside our planned timeframe of just seven months. Against all expectations, we were even able to seize the opportunity to refurbish the floors, walls and ceilings so the building looks fresh again. With new fittings and better insulation, our museum has now also become more sustainable. We are now starting with the layout and we are looking forward to the museum’s re-opening on 1 May”. The Van Gogh collection can still be viewed in Amsterdam’s Hermitage Museum until 25 April.

Necessary changes to the Van Gogh Museum were started in 2010 due to tightened fire safety regulations. Because the air conditioning installations had to be replaced, the museum needed to close its doors for the past seven months. The refurbishment was done with much dedication and effort while keeping to a tight schedule. Amongst other things, the point of departure for the renovation was the creation of a sustainable building that complied with the wishes and requirements of our era. The museum is now equipped with a modern and sustainable air conditioning installation, for example, that allows the right climatic conditions to be set per room. A 160-metre-deep well was dug under the museum for heat and cold storage, collecting warmth in the summer and releasing it to heat the building in winter. The roof has been completely replaced and extra insulated, meaning that 1,500 m² of new roof covering was laid and 199 new domes were fitted. The Van Gogh Museum is working on developing a sustainability certificate for museums, the so-called BREEAM label, and is hoping to receive one at the end of 2013.

The whole museum building has undergone a thorough refurbishment. No less than 2,300 m² of parquet flooring was renewed, 4,300 m² of ceiling replaced and 11,000 m² of walls painted. The building has been provided with new wiring, allowing multimedia applications to be used in exhibitions and presentations, but also during the Friday night programme. After its re-opening, visitors to the museum and groups will be able to buy tickets online and gain direct access for a selected timeframe. The museum will assign the next four weeks to the clean-up, the re-design of the collection rooms, the cashiers’ desks, the museum shop, the bookshop, signposting and the new museum café.

New entrance building
The plans for the Van Gogh Museum’s new entrance building on the Museumplein were unveiled recently. Two thirds of the necessary €15 million has been granted in the meantime. The remaining €5 million will be gathered through the funding campaign, directed at foundations, private people and companies in the Netherlands and abroad, which has up until now proven to be successful. Construction is expected to start in the course of 2014. The Rietveld building will remain open during these works.

Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum stores and manages the world’s largest collection of works and letters by Vincent Van Gogh and aims to make his life and work as well as the art of his time and his contemporaries accessible to as broad a public as possible. Every year, the museum welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors and thus is the 25th most visited museum in the world. People can still visit the exhibition Vincent: The Van Gogh Museum in the Hermitage Amsterdam in the Hermitage museum until 25 April. From 26 until 30 April, the Van Gogh Museum will be closed and will re-open on 1 May with its jubilee exhibition Van Gogh at work. The completion of eight years’ research, this exhibition provides an insight into the painter’s development in 200 works by the artist himself and his contemporaries: how did he learn his art and what did his studio practice consist of? The exhibition constitutes a special overview of a multifaceted oeuvre.