Amsterdam, 18 November 2003

Statement in response to questions raised by the exhibition 'Lost and Found' at the Breda's Museum

Regarding the press release 'Breda's Museum discovers early Van Gogh', the Van Gogh Museum would like to state the following:

The museum welcomes the initiative of the Breda's Museum. The exhibition and catalogue represent the first serious attempt to reconstruct the history of the so-called 'Breda crates' (see below).

In the spring of 2002, the Van Gogh Museum was asked by the Breda's Museum to cooperate in the exhibition; given our own programme of research, however, this proved to be impossible. Following extensive consultation, it was decided that the project would be carried by Breda alone.

The question of whether or not in the eyes of the Van Gogh Museum the newly attributed painting is actually an authentic Van Gogh cannot be answered fully at present: our experts have not seen the painting, nor conducted any form of research into it. Naturally, the Van Gogh Museum regards all new attributions with great interest; experience has shown, however, that caution is the order of the day. We will of course visit the exhibition in Breda and study the results of the curators' research carefully.

The Breda crates
In 1902 a number of authentic works from Vincent van Gogh's Dutch period were discovered in crates in Breda. As it later appeared, these had once belonged to the artist's mother. In the wake of these discoveries, and throughout the entire twentieth century, several hundred paintings and drawings came to be associated with these original finds. It was thus claimed that these, too, were authentic works by Van Gogh; however, such conclusions have also always been a matter of controversy. The exhibition 'Lost and Found' in the Breda's Museum represents a new attempt to shed light on this problem.

For more information, please contact the Van Gogh Museum Press Office:
+31 (0)20 570 52 92 or e-mail to

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