We reflect on a successful 2019: we welcomed more than 2.1 million visitors from 110 different countries, visitor satisfaction was higher than ever, we made several notable acquisitions and teamed up with a new main partner.
- Annual Report 2019 A year packed with highlights
Departure of Axel Rüger
Early in the year, it was announced that Axel Rüger was to depart the Van Gogh Museum after 13 years as Director. As of 1 June 2019, he became the Secretary and CEO at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In the interim period prior to the appointment of the new Director, Managing Director Adriaan Dönszelmann took charge of the museum. In October, the Supervisory Board announced that Emilie Gordenker had been appointed as the new Director of the museum as of 1 February 2020.
Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature
The year started with the blockbuster exhibition Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature. The world-famous Yorkshire landscapes by David Hockney (1937) went on display in the Netherlands for the first time. One of the highlights of the exhibition was The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) (Centre Pompidou, Paris), consisting of 32 canvases and measuring 9.75 metres wide by 3.66 metres high. In March 2019, this iconic work was spectacularly brought to life in Arrival of Spring LIVE, an audiovisual performance during which an image of the artwork was projected onto the Museumplein side of the museum.
Sunflowers research and exhibition
The summer exhibition Van Gogh and the Sunflowers was an impressive presentation of the results of recent technical research conducted on the renowned painting Sunflowers (1889), and achieved one of the highest ever visitor ratings. The research produced a great deal of information regarding the condition of the work and the materials that Van Gogh used. One of the conclusions was that the painting is stable, but fragile; which is why the decision was taken to keep the masterpiece at the Van Gogh Museum and no longer release it on loan.