Amsterdam -Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its Amsterdam program with their Van Gogh Museum Seminar, an exploration of the life and works of one of the world’s most iconic artistic figures.
After extensive renovations, the Van Gogh Museum recently reopened its doors to the throngs of art lovers who are clamouring for an encounter with the artist’s vivid paintings. In 2015, 125 years after his death, the mythology of this enigmatic man and his turbulent life continues to grow, captivating art historians and the public alike. The Van Gogh Museum is home to the world’s largest collection devoted to a single artist, and sees its popularity grow year on year.
This two-hour tour weaves through the exhibits of the Van Gogh Museum, examining the development of Van Gogh’s hallmark style and revealing the secrets of some of his most famous and well-loved paintings.
“For me, Vincent Van Gogh is the quintessential Dutch artist; stubborn, committed and fighting against greater powers to reach his goal,” says Context docent Sabry Amroussi, an art historian who leads the walk. “He is more than the distorted genius that most people take him for; he is a learned intellectual, who demonstrated true resilience, perseverance and strength. I’m excited to be able to share this deeper story with Context clients.”
Van Gogh Museum Seminar lasts 2 hours, and is available daily. Group walks cost €70 per person, private tours cost €285 per party. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six (6) people maximum.
Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in thirty-four (34) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Milan, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Cartagena, Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Milan, Dublin, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Montreal, Melbourne, and Sydney. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit the website at:www.contexttravel.com
July 29 2015 marks exactly 125 years since Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) died. The Van Gogh Europe Foundation, a collaboration of around 30 organizations, is using the occasion to honor the Dutch artist under the theme ‘125 Years of Inspiration’, because the artist still inspires and is still very much ‘alive,’ even 125 years after his death.
Activities are being organized throughout the year in various towns in Holland, Belgium, France and England that figured in the life and work of the artist. Never before has there been cooperation on this scale between the organizations, museums and heritage sites which are actively engaged in preserving and promoting Van Gogh’s heritage.
From January 24 to 17 May 17, 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 made the choice 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 April 25 to September 27. The exhibition will concentrate on the traditional genres at the end of the 19th century: still life, vista/perspective, nature, cityscape and portrait. More than 50 works by Van Gogh, 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 (September 25 2015 to January 17, 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 modernize 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 (April 5 to August 31) 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 organized at locations in Brabant where Van Gogh lived and worked. These programme details will be announced later this year.
Four organizations 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 organizations in Holland, Belgium, France and England which are actively engaged in promoting Van Gogh’s heritage.
Van Gogh 2015 European Tours Launched
Holland’s largest coach operator, Oad Bus, and the Van Gogh Europe Foundation are supporting the 125th anniversary of the death of Vincent van Gogh next July with a program of specially themed group tours that combine ‘fast-track’ admission to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with visits to related museums, galleries and cultural events across Holland, Belgium and France.
Oad Bus, is a full-service destination marketing company for mainland Europe and it has developed these special group itineraries in partnership with the Van Gogh Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, Van Gogh Brabant, the Keukenhof Museum and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.
All of the ‘Van Gogh 2015’ itineraries are based on a core program of two-, three- and four-day tours within Holland that visit Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Van Gogh Theme Garden, the Taste of Van Gogh, the Noordbrabants Museum, the Van Gogh Village in Nuenen, and the Vincent van Gogh house in Zundert.
Longer itineraries, of between five and eight days in duration, include visits to Van Gogh Brabant and the city of Mons (the 2015 European Capital of Culture) in Belgium; the Musee d’Orsay and Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh is buried, in Paris; and Arles in France where Van Gogh painted his famous sunflowers.
All of these programs start and end in Amsterdam, close to where Oad Bus keeps its ultra-modern fleet of luxury coaches and where coach groups arrive in the Netherlands from the UK via the ferry ports of Harwich, Newcastle and Hull and from most major airports.
There’s even a potential English element to these itineraries comprising historic properties in Ramsgate in Kent and Isleworth in West London where Vincent van Gogh lived and taught in 1876 and as identified by Blue plaques in both locations.
‘Van Gogh 2015’ luxury coach was recently launched in the Kröller Müller Museum in Holland where Oad Bus unveiled a brand new and specially artworked ‘Vincent Van Gogh’ 48 seat coach, (illustrated). This stunning coach will be used, wherever possible, for all Van Gogh 2015 itineraries, adding to the status and attractiveness of these unique tours (www.oad.nl/vakantie-type/van-gogh).
Cycling Through Van Gogh’s Life
At the Holland.com website, there are marvelous cycling itineraries that link important sites connected with Van Gogh’s life.
For example, a 335 kilometer cycling route takes you through five towns and cities of the Brabant landscape loved by Vincent van Gogh, discovering the sites that were so important in his life and shaped Van Gogh as an artist. The Van Gogh cycling route follows the bicycle junction system and is marked with Van Gogh route signs. It runs for a total length of 335 kilometres, but you can also pick one of the shorter partial routes.
The route starts in Zundert, where Van Gogh was born. Today this is the site of the Van GoghHuis museum, where you can view beautiful presentations about his life and work. You will also visit Tilburg, where Van Gogh first attended drawing classes in secondary school. You will have the opportunity to visit Vincents Tekenlokaal, where the drawing classes took place.
Other interesting sites are Etten-Leur, where you can visit the Vincent van Gogh Information Centre at the old sexton’s house and explore how Van Gogh adjusted to his new life as an artist. In Nuenen, 21 sites that influenced Van Gogh await your visit at Van Gogh Village. The final destination is Den Bosch, where the Noordbrabants Museum has original works by Van Gogh on display.
Key addresses in the route: Opwetten Watermill, Opwettenseweg 203, Nuenen; Home of the Potato Eaters, Gerwenseweg 3, Nuenen; Former rectory, Berg 26, Nuenen; and Vincent’s drawing class, Stadhuisplein 128, Tilburg (See: http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/interests/van-gogh-2015/van-gogh-cycling-route-brabant.htm).