|Van Gogh Museum moves masterworks to Hermitage Amsterdam for seven months|
A yellow van carrying the first shipment of Vincent van Gogh paintings leaves the Van Gogh Museum under police escort in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. While the museum closes for seven months for renovations, 75 works by the Dutch painter will be displayed instead across town at The Hermitage, an Amsterdam satellite of the Russian state museum. The tricky process of transporting the artworks under police escort began immediately after the last visitors left the museum Sunday evening and carried on through the night into Monday morning. The Van Gogh Museum reopens April 25, 2013. AP Photo/Cris Toala Olivares.
By: Toby Sterling, Associated Press
AMSTERDAM (AP).- The operation began moments after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam closed Sunday evening. Men removed alarm tags from behind some of Vincent Van Gogh's greatest masterpieces, including "Sunflowers," ''Irises" and the famously crooked "Bedroom," and quickly pulled the paintings down from the museum's walls.
Fortunately, they were not thieves carrying out an epic heist, but curators preparing the works for transport to a temporary location across town where they will be on display for the next seven months while the museum is closed for renovations.
In all, 75 pieces the cream of the biggest collection of Vincent Van Gogh's work are moving to The Hermitage, an Amsterdam dependency of the Russian state museum.
Watching the lifeblood of his museum disappear, Director Axel Ruger said he wasn't nervous about the possibility the paintings could be damaged or stolen before they return next year.
"We do this all the time" when individual paintings go on loan to another museum, he said. But never on this scale, he conceded.
"I cannot really say much about the (security) measures that are being taken, because you will understand that we need to keep those confidential in order to safeguard the security of the transport," he said.
Standing near a blank space on the wall where Van Gogh's final work, the 1890 painting "Wheatfield with Crows," had hung just minutes earlier, Curator Leo Jansen described in brief the treatment the paintings would undergo.
After being loaded onto felt-covered trolleys, they would be taken to a workshop to be wrapped in protective insulation and packed into hard-shell carrying cases called "turtles" that are resistant to both physical shocks and temperature changes.
The cases have been assigned code numbers rather than bearing the paintings' individual names.
About an hour later, the first shipment was loaded onto a yellow van and then driven away under police escort. The route each shipment followed was kept secret until the last moment.
The operation continued like clockwork through Sunday night and into the day Monday in order to get the paintings on display again as soon as possible: the Van Gogh Museum is Amsterdam's most popular, attracting 1.6 million visitors in 2011 eclipsing both the Rembrandt-rich Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House museum.
The exhibit at The Hermitage opens Saturday and runs through mid-April, with the Van Gogh Museum to reopen on April 25, 2013.
The closure of the Van Gogh Museum was timed in part to coincide with the reopening next door of the lesser-known Stedelijk, or city museum, which houses works by Dutch Modernists Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld, as well as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse and many others.
Dubbed "the bathtub" by local press, the most notable new feature of the renovated Stedelijk is a white roof with an overhang that stretches so far from the side of the building it looks like it might simply break off.
Architects say it is structurally sound, made possible thanks to a stronger-than-steel composite material.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
September 25, 2012
Van Gogh Museum moves masterworks to Hermitage Amsterdam for seven months
Monumental sculpture by Manolo Valdés at the New York Botanical Garden
Alberto Giacometti's unique "Torse de femme" featured in MOSS, an auction of art and design
Royal Collection Trust buys four famous Andy Warhol portraits of Queen Elizabeth II
Getty Center presents the photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design
Photography from A to Z: Christie's Photographs Sale at South Kensington in October
Exhibition presents new, familiar and never-before-seen works from the Sammlung Kunst der Westküste
San Francisco's beloved Museum of Craft and Folk Art closes its doors after 30 years
Major exhibition features computer animation, diagrams, plans, and models by Studio Gang Architects
Works from the extensive Martin Z. Margulies Collection on view at Kunsthal KAdE
Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire at the University of Michigan Museum of Art
1949 Triumph, rubies and gold add luster to Sept. 30 Government Auction sale
In the Spirit of Walser: Rodney Graham and Josiah McElheny at the Donald Young Gallery
Adlers endow curatorship and programs at the Princeton University Art Museum
Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale totals $12,277,564 led by an Abstract Richter
A Selection of the new media collection, Musée national d'art moderne, on view at ZKM
Philippines: Marcos clothes have no historic value
Maria Malczewska-Bernhardt: Theater of life - painting and drawing at The Museum of Opolian Silesia
Cumbria County Council sells collection of old weights and measures estimated at £20,000 to £30,000
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Exhibition presents French Impressionist's most important and provocative paintings
2.- Sotheby's auction achieves the second-highest total for any sale ever held in London
3.- High Museum of Art premieres major United States exhibition of Alex Katz landscapes
4.- China's Great Wall is disappearing due to adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities
5.- Van Gogh to Pollock: Exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum presents art world rebels
6.- Confederate flag furor spreads to stained glass windows at Washington National Cathedral
7.- Christie's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieves $112,908,380
8.- First comprehensive show on the history, politics and culture of homosexuality_ies opens in Berlin
9.- Sotheby's to re-launch Irish Art sales in London; Sale includes important nude by William Orpen
10.- Centre Pompidou devotes a major exhibition to Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum's work
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|