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Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is selling a limited number of replicas of the artist’s sketchbooks for the first time ever. While only four of Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) sketchbooks exist today, together they offer a rare insight into the artist’s life and artistic process.

Executed in pencil and black charcoal as well as ink and chalk, the entries include scribblings, quickly drawn notes, copies of poems, and a number of thought-out studies for later paintings including The Sower (1888). The publication marks the first time that all four sketchbooks will be replicated. A limited number of 1,000 editions are currently on sale at the museum’s shop and online sales are slated to start next week. A box set containing the four sketchbooks and a short commentary is retailing for $850.

Three of the four original sketchbooks are currently part of the Van Gogh Museum’s exhibition Van Gogh at Work. The show, which inaugurated the museum’s newly renovated space, coincides with the 160th anniversary of the artist’s birth and offers an extensive overview of van Gogh’s oeuvre.

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The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY announced that it has exceeded its $50 million fundraising goal for its Changing Speed expansion and renovation project by $334,000. The campaign’s success will allow the museum to complete Phase I and II of its plan, which includes building a new North Building, a central utilities building, and an art park and piazza.

The New North Building will span 62,500-square-feet and will double the museum’s overall physical space. The state-of-the-art renovation will include larger spaces for special exhibitions, contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, indoor and outdoor cafes, a museum shop, and a multifunctional pavilion for lectures and performances.

A major family gift made by civic leader Christy Brown will allow the Speed Art Museum to complete Phase III of its plan, which includes building a new South Building and extensive renovations to the existing structure. Brown made an $18 million contribution to the project in honor of her late husband, Owsley Brown II. The new 9,500-square-foot South Building will include additional gallery space and a state-of-the-art theater that will be capable of showing 16mm and 35mm films. The South Building will also include a renovated 5,600-square-foot gallery in the Speed’s current structure to house the museum’s significant collection of early Kentucky fine and decorative arts, which includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, silver, and other objects.

Work on Phase III of the Speed’s plan is underway and Phase I and II are expected to start this summer. All construction and renovations are expected to reach completion by the winter of 2015 and a grand re-opening is slated for early 2016.

Louisville philanthropist Hattie Bishop Speed founded the Speed Art Museum in 1925. It is the oldest, largest, and foremost art museum in Kentucky. The Speed is currently closed for the renovations but a temporary exhibition space was established in downtown Louisville’s Nulu district.

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