28 July 2016
Van Gogh Museum offers a special welcome to LGBTQI visitors during Amsterdam Gay Pride and EuroPride.
Axel Rüger (Director of the Van Gogh Museum) today unveiled the Yellow Brick Road: a 3D interpretation of the iconic yellow road that featured prominently in The Wizard of Oz (1939). The celebrated Hollywood musical has been a household name in the international LGBTQI community for generations. This year’s EuroPride is held in Amsterdam from 23 July to 7 August. Axel Rüger: ‘The Van Gogh Museum is proud of the rich diversity of visitors that are drawn to the museum every year, and wishes everyone a fantastic Amsterdam Gay Pride and EuroPride!’
Axel Rüger: ‘With the 3D interpretation of the Yellow Brick Road, which runs from the ticket office area to the Entrance Hall, the Van Gogh Museum shows that its doors are wide open to all visitors, including, of course, those from the LGBTQI community. With our Yellow Brick Road, we would like to ensure that this group is firmly at centre stage this week. We encourage all of our visitors to enter the museum using the yellow road, on their way to discovering a world packed with colour and inspiration. Happy Gay Pride!’
The Wizard of Oz
The famous story of The Wizard of Oz recounts the adventures of Dorothy (Judy Garland), who is transported by a tornado into a technicolour world ‘somewhere over the rainbow’. The film’s message (focusing on the power of imagination, courage, friendship and self-determination) has appealed to generations of LGBTQI people and has been part of their collective imaginary. Before homosexuality was accepted, members of the community would ask ‘Are you a friend of Dorothy?’ to check whether they were talking to others of the same persuasion. The infamous Stonewall riots broke out in New York on 28 June 1969, the day after the funeral of movie legend and LGBTQI icon Judy Garland. This was the birth of Gay Pride.
Vincent van Gogh
There are no known sources that indicate that Van Gogh had sexual relations with other men. However, he did have close, passionate friendships with men. Axel Rüger: ‘It is all about creativity – a significant theme in both Van Gogh’s life and The Wizard of Oz, as well as for Amsterdam Gay Pride and EuroPride. Creativity and imagination enable us to envisage a different world, a world of hope and beauty that both comforts and inspires. Friendship is another major link, and that is something that shines through in this week of Amsterdam Gay Pride, in which unity and diversity play a leading role’.