2016: the year of the recovered paintings, dj Armin van Buuren and a new visitor record. View or download the annual report 2016 to find out more.
For the first time in its history, the Van Gogh Museum broke through the magical barrier of two million visitors in 2016. Meanwhile, appreciation of the museum remains as high as ever.
View the annual report 2016
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A record number of visitors
Breaking through the two million barrier was a milestone in the history of the Van Gogh Museum since its opening in 1973. Even more important, perhaps, is the high level of appreciation they give us, even during the busiest summer months.
The museum’s online fan base grew exponentially in 2016, with website visits peaking on 4 February 2016 with the launch of the online French print collection: www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/prints.
Online ticket sales are on the rise as well, with one in four visitors booking their visits this way in 2016.
The museum zoomed in on the life and work of Vincent van Gogh through a varied programme of exhibitions and from unusual angles. To accompany the exhibition Easy Virtue: Prostitution in French Art, 1850–1910, for instance, we set up a temporary ‘period room’ in a window formerly used by prostitutes in the Red Light district.
The summer exhibition On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh and His Illness, meanwhile, was prompted by the discovery of the doctor’s note with information about the severed ear – a scholarly discovery that stirred up considerable interest. Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape, lastly, focused on Charles-François Daubigny’s role as a pioneer of Impressionism and a major source of inspiration for Vincent van Gogh.
The Italian authorities recovered two works by Van Gogh. They turned out to be the two paintings stolen in 2002: Seascape at Scheveningen (1882) and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884/85) have since returned to Amsterdam safe and sound.
‘Embrace Vincent' multimedia guide
There was a lot of attention too last year for a collaborative project with the DJ Armin van Buuren, who created a special multimedia guide for the Van Gogh Museum called Embrace Vincent. In it he provided an explanation, commentary and musical backing with his own tracks for a selection of his favourite Van Goghs. The multimedia tour was launched with a celebratory live show by the world-famous DJ in the museum’s entrance building.
The Van Gogh Museum works hard to interest the widest possible audience in Vincent van Gogh’s legacy. Thanks to a substantial make-over, Vincent on Friday – the contemporary, Friday-evening programme for young artists – succeeded in generating significantly more interest in 2016. Our schools programme, meanwhile, drew over 46,000 pupils. We’re also proud of the special activities we organized for disabled and older museum visitors, for families with children, and for our visually impaired visitors.