Making Van Gogh
I‘ve been visiting the Städel Museum in Frankfurt last week. Currently there‘s a great exhibition about Vincent van Gogh called Making Van Gogh. So it‘s not just the images but also the stories behind the images that make this exhibition so interesting. And I thought that this is an excellent topic for this blog which is precisely about telling the stories behind the images.
Vincent van Gogh, Pink Roses, June 1890, 1/16, f/1.8, ISO 64, 3.99 mm, iPhone 7
We went to Frankfurt with a bus with almost 50 people. I had to get up at 04.30 am in the morning in order to catch the bus just in time. Getting up that early is really against my natural rhythm, I’m not a morning person by nature. But anyhow, we made it to Frankfurt and arrived at the Städel Museum later that morning. As we had some time until our guided tours started we first went through the permanent collection of the museum in the upper floors. Even the permanent collection is spectacular. You can see a lot of paintings from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner there, but also from other artists of the artists group Die Brücke (The Bridge). The second floor is reserved for the old masters like Jan van Eyck, Johannes Vermeer or Lucas Cranach the Elder. For reference be sure to check out the website of the Städel museum. There’s an excellent digital collection of all the permanent artworks online.
Our guided tour for Making Van Gogh was booked for around noon. Luckily our large group was split in two, so there were about twenty people per group left to visit the show. The show was packed, the day we’ve been visiting the exhibition was a holiday in many parts of Germany. The museum suggests to plan your visit in the late afternoon or early evening hours where there are less people queuing. The guided tours are great with very dedicated guides, I can’t recommend it enough to book one of these tours.
The exhibition is trying to answer the question how and why Vincent van Gogh became such an icon in the art world, especially in Germany where he is almost synonymous with modernity. It’s especially exciting to compare van Gogh’s paintings to the ones from Kirchner, Nolde or Schmidt-Rottluff, that are also part of the show.
Also have a closer look at the new basement of the museum, especially the dotted ceiling there is spectacular. It’s designed by the architecture duo Schneider+Schumacher in Frankfurt. If you make a little walk outside and around the main building you can also see the lightbulbs from the outside.