The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience was created by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, the world’s leading authority on the artist. After touring Beijing and picking up a Thea Award, it has since gone on to tour the cultural hubs of Barcelona and Seoul. It is an example of the cutting-edge experiential content being developed by the Museum.
The Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience will be making its UK premiere on London’s South Bank in February 2020. This vibrant capital city is visited by 20 million tourists each year. People travel from all over the world to enjoy its cultural offerings.
This highly sought-after venue is a stone’s throw away from the National Theatre, Waterloo Station, London Eye and Queen’s Wharf. The location marks Meet Vincent van Gogh as one of London’s most anticipated touring exhibitions for 2020. It is ideal for locals, day-trippers and tourists alike.
Building on a successful tour
With well-received tour stops in Seoul, Beijing and Barcelona behind it, and the cultural hotspots of London and Lisbon ahead in 2020, the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience is going from strength to strength.
London audiences are already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the official Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience. They will be able to hear the artist speak directly to them, as they become the latest audience to embark on this unique journey into the story of his life and work.
“2019 has been an outstanding year for Meet Vincent van Gogh and Van Gogh Museum experiential content. From Barcelona to Seoul, the Experience has achieved precisely what the Van Gogh Museum intended it to. It is enriching and inspiring people around the world.”
“With this momentum behind us, we are excited to maximize our impact in London and Lisbon with exceptional venues and highly-experienced partners.”
He adds, “Meet Vincent’s success is defined by a seal of quality and authority. Not only from the iconic Van Gogh Museum as the leading knowledge on Vincent van Gogh. But also by our wider team of cutting-edge international suppliers, hosts and support staff.”
Leading promoters and operators
Meet Vincent van Gogh London is a co-production between two leading promoters and operators. These are Golden Tours and ProActiv: Live Entertainment.
Established in 1984, Golden Tours is the London expert, providing top quality tours around the city. It also runs popular day trips to top UK location such as Stonehenge and Bath.
“Meet Vincent van Gogh is the ideal addition to London’s arts and cultural attractions scene,” says Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours.
“As an official Van Gogh Museum experience, it brings with it not only the prestige of the Museum but also a strong understanding of how to attract a diverse audience. This, combined with Golden Tours’ long-standing expertise in London attractions and events, makes for a very successful collaboration.”
ProActiv produced the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience in Barcelona. Following the exhibition’s outstanding success in the Spanish city, ProActiv Managing Partner Nicolas Renna signed on for a second time to co-produce the London tour stop.
“Collaborating for a second time with the Meet Vincent van Gogh team reasserts the success of the Experience in Barcelona,” says Renna. “We are excited to continue creating a wonderful experience for our visitors in London.”
Bringing the artist’s story to life through experiential content
It is the Museum’s goal to bring the work of Van Gogh to as many people as possible. However, the fragile nature of his works makes a traditional travelling exhibition challenging. Added to this, a modern audience expects more from a museum experience.
This something the Van Gogh Museum understands, from its years of experience as one of the world’s most popular cultural institutions. The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience is part of a series of experiential branded content that it has developed into order to engage with a modern, international audience.
Adriaan Dönszelmann is the Managing Director of the Van Gogh Museum. Speaking of the importance of finding new ways of bringing the artist’s legacy to new audiences beyond the Museum, he says:
“While the Museum concentrates on our splendid Van Gogh collection, the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience brings Van Gogh’s story to life beyond the Museum walls. With today’s techniques, you can go on a virtual journey through Vincent van Gogh’s life.”
Van de Water adds, “In line with the most recent trends in visitor attractions, the Meet Vincent exhibition focuses on the most important stages of his life, his ambitions, the myth and the source of inspiration that he still is to many people.
“The revenue generated by the Experience directly contributes to the Museum’s activities. Van Gogh Museum experiential content like Meet Vincent is an important way of celebrating the authenticity of the Van Gogh family legacy and Van Gogh Museum’s cultural brand.”
The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was founded in 1973 by the artist’s family, who formed the Van Gogh Foundation. It is a key attraction in the city, welcoming over 2 million visitors each year. The museum is regarded as an expert on the artist’s life and work. It holds the largest collection of Van Gogh works in the world, with 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 800 letters.
In addition to safeguarding these iconic works, the Van Gogh Museum produces leading research into Van Gogh’s art and the art of his time. It has released several well-respected publications about the artist, his life, and the period in which he worked.
The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience
The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience is a truly immersive exhibit. One that invites visitors to take a journey into the artist’s world. Thanks to the Museum’s collection of Vincent van Gogh’s personal letters, it creates a unique look at his life. The story is told in his own words.
This innovative travelling exhibition combines the Museum’s expertise on the life story and artistic practice of Van Gogh, with tomorrow’s cutting-edge visitor attractions technology. It has already been a hit with audiences in Beijing, Seoul and Barcelona.
Helping visitors to get up close and personal, the experience features 12 interactive stations. This includes a life-sized reproduction of Van Gogh’s The Bedroom.
As well as this, there are perspective frame drawing tables and a colour paint interactive. Guests can also explore Van Gogh’s work at close range. This is thanks to a 3D blow-up replica of The Harvest which reveals the microscopic layers of paint.
An immersive experience
The experience also includes a fully-automated audio guide. This is available in both adult and child versions, to engage a wider demographic. The exhibition features stunning and state-of-the-art set work, bringing iconic images to life.
The narrative recreates the six most pivotal phases of the artist’s life. It takes the visitor on an exploration of his life. From his childhood in the Netherlands to his years as an emerging artist in Paris. It also examines his creative development in Arles.
In addition to this, it visits his asylum in St. Rémy and the wheat field where he fatally wounded himself. Finally, it looks at his life after death and how he has inspired generations of people around the globe.
In 2017, the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience won a THEA Award. This was for Outstanding Achievement in the category of Immersive Touring Museum Exhibits. The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) judging committee was impressed by the scope of the exhibit and said:
“The exhibit elevates the museum experience from a passive gallery to an immersive experience. It allows all visitors to see and encounter these great works of art, and to know the artist, in new ways.”
The multisensory experience is both entertaining and educational. It introduces visitors to new insights into the artist in a fun and interesting way. The exhibition appeals to a wide audience, including families and schools, as well as both art novices and experts.
One key focus of the travelling exhibit is an exploration of the connection between art history, science and Van Gogh’s personal life and artistic practice.
The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience opens in London in February 2020, and tickets are available here.
Images kind courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum and the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience.