2017: the year in which the stolen paintings were on view in the museum, the Sunflowers were reunited virtually, Loving Vincent went into premiere and the museum reached a new visitor record.
2017 was a year that will go down in history, a year with a special shine. Like last year, the Van Gogh reached a visitor record with 2,26 million visitors in 2017. Meanwhile, appreciation of the museum remains as high as ever. View or download the annual report 2017 to find out more.
View the annual report 2017
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Van Gogh Museum tops reputation rankings
The previous record number of visitors (2.1 million visitors in 2016) easily surpassed with 2.26 million visitors in 2017. Our diverse audience (from young to old and from student to scientist) comprises about 119 nationalities. There is a notable increase in visitors from the Netherlands, China and South Korea.
Even more important, perhaps, is the high level of appreciation the adience gives us, even during the busiest summer months. Research conducted by a renowned European reputation institute into the world’s most famous museums ranked the Van Gogh Museum in first place among European respondents (ahead of the Louvre in Paris) and second among respondents overall.
Our online fan base grew exponentially. The Facebook pages of the Van Gogh Museum and of Vincent van Gogh, both run by the museum, now have more than 4.4 million fans. The Van Gogh Museum is also in the international top-five of art museums in terms of social media reach.
The online sale of time-slotted tickets has proven to be an efficient means of reducing peak crowding at the museum. It helps to reduce the inevitable commotion at the entrance and cloakroom.
We do our utmost to ensure that visitors have the optimal museum experience, even on peak days, when we welcome the maximum of 10,000 visitors a day. In 2017, our impressive exhibitions Prints in Paris 1900, The Dutch in Paris 1789-1914 and Van Gogh, Rousseau, Corot: In the Forest were all greeted with widespread approval and acclaim.
And yet there was one single event in 2017 alongside which all other successes and records somewhat paled. The return of the stolen works View of the Sea at Scheveningen (1882) and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884-85) was both festive and poignant, like the homecoming of long-lost children.
The presentation Zeng Fanzhi | Van Gogh was also one of the highlights. Zeng Fanzhi (1961) – a great admirer of Vincent van Gogh – is one of today’s most prominent contemporary Chinese artists. Especially for the Van Gogh Museum, he created six paintings inspired by Van Gogh’s self-portraits.
The Van Gogh Museum assisted in the realisation of the feature film Loving Vincent, a Polish-British production. 125 artists spent years replicating the style of Vincent van Gogh to create the world’s first fully painted animation film, which features a total of 65,000 individual frames. The first 20 minutes of the film were shown as a sneak preview at the Van Gogh Museum, but the full premiere of the feature film was in June, at the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy.
Virtual Sunflowers online
Van Gogh’s world-famous Sunflowers are now found in prominent collections all around the world. Due to their vulnerability, value and popularity, it would be impossible to organise a ‘real-life’ exhibition of the Sunflowers in one place. In this virtual Sunflower exhibition the five paintings were reunited for the first time.
Through unique projects, the Van Gogh Museum works hard to interest the widest possible audience in Van Goghs legacy. The formula for Vincent on Friday – the museum’s monthly event for young Amsterdam residents aged between 18 and 30 – was revised in 2016. This proved to be a winning move. The various co-productions with young, Amsterdam-based creatives have been a success.
The number of schoolchildren that visited the museum increased considerably compared to 2016. More than 57,000 pupils from the Netherlands and abroad visited the museum as part of one of the educational programmes. 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.