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New presentation approach aims to make the Kröller-Müller Museum more accessible
Vincent van Gogh, (1853 - 1890), Ossenkar, juli 1884, olieverf op doek op paneel.
OTTERLO.- Vincent is back – part 1 opened officially on Saturday 15 December. In Vincent is back, an important position is reserved for the extraordinary history of the Van Gogh collection within the collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum, together with the story of the artist and his work. The presentation provides plenty of space for the individual works, offers various layers of information, and introduces the visitor to a new house style. Director Lisette Pelsers explains: ‘With Vincent is back, the Kröller-Müller Museum marks a first important step in a new approach to the presentation of both the permanent collection and the exhibitions, in order to make these more accessible and appeal to a broader public. After all, our collection is for everyone. That was the intention of Helene Kröller-Müller and remains the intention of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Thus, our ultimate ambition is for all Dutch citizens to have visited our wonderful museum at least once and to have them return.’

Two parts
To enable the museum to present the full extent of the collection, the story of Van Gogh is divided into two parts: part 1, Native soil (showing until 1 April 2013) presents his Dutch period, his first years as an artist, the many rambles and his choice of subject matter. Part 2, Land of light (from 7 April – 22 September 2013), reveals how Van Gogh was influenced by light, colour and his contact with other artists after moving to France. Both presentations are structured thematically and illustrated with quotes from Van Gogh’s letters, among other things. Part 1 also includes a selection of drawings that he made principally at the start of his career. These drawings are rarely displayed due to their sensitivity to light. Consequently, they will also be substituted at various times throughout the presentation.

Extraordinary history of collection
The Kröller-Müller Museum’s extraordinary history of collection has a prominent place in the story. Between 1908 and 1929, Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller acquired no fewer than 91 paintings and 180 works on paper by Van Gogh, partly on the advice of art teacher and personal advisor H.P. Bremmer. Among other things, the visitor will learn which work the couple acquired first, which was the most expensive and in which years the most acquisitions were made. The fact that thousands of guilders per day were sometimes spent on art indicates that their budget was virtually unlimited. Occasionally, even an entire collection was acquired, such as the 1928 acquisition from the Dordrect art-dealer Hidde Nijland, which contained over 100 drawings.

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