AMSTERDAM.-Van Gogh Museum closes 2006 with record visitor numbers2006 was in many respects an exceptional year for the Van Gogh Museum. A record number of 1, 675, 000 visitors viewed the Rembrandt-Caravaggio, Japanese season and Vincent van Gogh and Expressionism (until March 4, 2007) exhibitions. The collection was also enriched with a number of important acquisitions, including 55 letters from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard.
The biggest attraction this year was the exhibition Rembrandt-Caravaggio (February 24 through June 18, 2006). This exhibition, jointly organised by the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, attracted no fewer than 400,785 visitors, making it the best attended of the exhibitions marking the year of Rembrandts 400th anniversary. With 52,500 visitors, the Friday evenings also proved particularly popular, with visitor numbers up by 10,000 from last year. In addition, 147,000 children visited the museum either individually or as part of school groups.
This year also saw a number of important additions to the Van Gogh Museums collection. With the support of the Mondriaan Foundation, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the VSB foundation and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Vincent van Gogh Foundation was able to purchase 55 extremely important letters written by Vincent van Gogh to the Dutch artist Anthon van Rappard (1858-1892). These letters, written between 1881 and 1885, are of great importance to our understanding of Van Goghs imagery and development in the first years of his career as an artist. In addition the collection was expanded with a classic impressionistic landscape by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Route de Versailles, Rocquencourt from 1871. This purchase realises a long-held wish to enrich the collection with a Pissarro landscape. The painting was purchased with the help of the BankGiro Loterij, the Vereniging Rembrandt (with the assistance of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds) , the Mondriaan Foundation and the VSB Foundation.
The prints collection was expanded with the unique Elles-serie from 1896 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), one of the high-points of late nineteenth-century French graphic art. The series was acquired by the Vincent van Gogh Stichting with support from the Stichting Herinneringsfonds Vincent van Gogh.