24 June 1999
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS -- After a closure of nearly ten months the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened after extensive renovations and expansion.
When the Van Gogh Museum first opened in 1973 it was estimated that 60,000 people would pass through its doors each year. 25 years later the number of visitors had risen to more than a million annually. As a result of this tremendous success the Van Gogh Museum had ongoing challenges in order to accommodate such a huge number of visitors each year. As a result, it was decided after exhaustive planning to close the Van Gogh Museum in September, 1998 in order to both upgrade the facility as well as add a completely new exhibition wing.
This new wing was designed by renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. The wing incorporates a modern, efficient design which also compliments the main building of the Van Gogh Museum, designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964). The inaugural exhibit of the new wing is a fitting tribute to Vincent's van Gogh's greatest supporter and friend: his brother, Theo. Theo van Gogh (1857-1891): Art Dealer, collector and brother of Vincent runs from 24 June to 5 September 1999.
In addition to the extensive work undertaken by the Van Gogh Museum, effort is also underway for improvements to the grounds surrounding the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. This area, know as the Museumplein is being redeveloped with expanded grassy parkland, ponds and two new pavilions.
The Van Gogh Museum welcomes visitors to enjoy the new facilities and, of course, to see the world's largest collection of the works of Vincent van Gogh in their newly refurbished home.