As 2022 dawned, the Van Gogh Museum was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic; as the year came to an end, the museum was sold out every day. A total of more than 1.3 million visitors came to the museum, of which 18% were Dutch.
With three highly popular exhibitions at the Van Gogh Museum and three special presentations at The Mesdag Collection, 2022 was a fine and successful year.
The exhibition The Potato Eaters: Mistake or Masterpiece? was on display when the museum reopened, and proved popular with visitors. Van Gogh and the Olive Groves was dedicated to the series of fifteen paintings of olive groves that Van Gogh made in 1889. Almost the entire group of paintings was reunited, thanks to an extraordinary group of loans.
The second exhibition was Colour as Language, the first retrospective of work by Etel Adnan in the Netherlands, which was a resounding success. The acclaimed exhibition Golden Boy Gustav Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse… opened in the autumn, and received rave reviews from both the press and visitors.
The Mesdag Collection hosted several remarkable presentations: A Living Collection, Artist Friends in The Hague and Under the Spell of Nature. Drawings by Rousseau and Daubigny. The museum also presented The Hague Gasworks: Van Eeden & Van Gogh, which was previously on display at the Van Gogh Museum.
The Strategic Plan 2021-2024 sets a course that reflects what the Van Gogh Museum aspires to be: an inclusive museum that wants to inspire people with the life of Vincent van Gogh, his work and his time. Inclusivity was addressed with initiatives including ‘Vincent on Friday’ evening events, a varied programme geared to new museum visitors and a symposium about the Van Gogh Connects projects. Sustainability is also important to us, and we have drafted a new policy and implemented a range of measures.
In 2022, the number of visitors to the website www.vangoghmuseum.nl exceeded even the record year of 2019, with more than 8.6 million visitors. The museum’s YouTube channel generated reach of more than 1.5 million views. On social media, the museum reached more than 130 million people. In 2022, online programming was developed to accompany all exhibitions.
The Van Gogh Museum has shown great financial resilience. Income was, particularly in the second half of the year, far higher than anticipated: € 58.6 million in total, which includes € 6.6 million additional state subsidy in compensation for the government’s COVID-19 policies. The Van Gogh Museum achieved a positive operating result of € 5.6 million in 2022 (in 2021: € 5.8 million positive operating result), for various reasons which are detailed in the annual report.
Part of the positive result will be allocated to the general reserve, while € 3.9 million will be assigned to earmarked reserves.