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After closing earlier this year for renovations, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam announced that it will re-open on May 1, 2013. The exhibition Van Gogh at Work will inaugurate the newly updated space. The Van Gogh Museum’s collection was relocated to Amsterdam’s Hermitage Museum during the closure; the works will remain on view there through April 25, 2013.

Updates to the Van Gogh Museum began in 2010 after intensification in fire safety regulations. Most of the recent refurbishments centered on the replacement of the museum’s air conditioning installations. The museum is now equipped with a modern and sustainable air condition unit that allows the right climatic conditions to be set for each room. The structure’s roof was also replaced and outfitted with extra insulation, the floors have been replaced, and the walls are newly repainted.

The Van Gogh Museum, which opened in 1973, houses the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) paintings and drawings in the world. Van Gogh at Work will coincide with the 160th anniversary of the artist’s birth and offers an extensive overview of Van Gogh’s oeuvre. The exhibition will be on view through January 12, 2014.

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Energy efficient LED lighting, which is widely used in museums across the world, has altered the color of Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) famous Sunflowers (1888). Once a vivid yellow hue, van Gogh’s masterpieces are darkening; scientists have discovered that certain yellow pigments from the 19th century become unstable after exposure to LED lights, turning them a brownish green over time.

Researchers in France and Germany sampled 14 works dating from 1887 to 1890 and tested for the reaction, which affects the oil paint color chrome yellow. A popular pigment at the time, artists such as Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) often used chrome yellow in their paintings. Upon their discovery, researchers suggested that museums avoid using LED lighting on certain works and switch to a safer illumination alternative.

Van Gogh painted his sunflower series as a welcoming present for his friend, Gauguin, and planned to hang the works in the room where he was to stay while in Arles. A copy by van Gogh from the original series is on view at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 22:19

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum Closes, Paintings Moved

This past Sunday, 75 Van Gogh paintings including Sunflowers, Irises, and Bedroom, were pulled off the walls of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and transported across the city in an armored car. The masterpieces will be on view for the next seven months at the Hermitage, an Amsterdam dependency of the Russian state museum, while the Van Gogh Museum undergoes renovations.

Moving irreplaceable works of art proved to be no easy task. Each painting was loaded onto felt-covered trolleys and taken to a workshop where they were wrapped in protective insulation and then packed into hard-shell carrying cases. The cases were then assigned code numbers to keep the paintings’ identities under wraps. The decidedly huge undertaking went off without a hitch.

The Hermitage’s Van Gogh exhibit opens on Saturday, September 29th and will run through mid-April. The revamped Van Gogh Museum is slated to re-open on April 25, 2013.

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Monday, 13 August 2012 17:58

A Potential Van Gogh Hinges on a Single Hair

In a bid to settle one of the mysteries of the art world, the three inch long, red hair was lifted from "Still Life with Peonies" and DNA samples taken from it will be compared with those from Van Gogh's living relatives.

If confirmed a Van Gogh, the painting could fetch a value of £39 million and make Cologne art collector Markus Roubrocks, its owner, a multi millionaire.

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