Van Gogh Museum - History

History

Upon Vincent van Gogh's death in 1890, his work not sold fell into the possession of his brother Theo. Theo died six months after Vincent, leaving the work in the possession of his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. Selling many of Vincent's paintings with the ambition of spreading knowledge of his artwork, Johanna maintained a private collection of his works.

The collection was inherited by her son Vincent Willem van Gogh in 1925, eventually loaned to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam where it displayed for many years, and was transferred to the state-initiated Vincent van Gogh Foundation in 1962.

Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 to Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld. Rietveld died a year later, and the building was not completed until 1973, when the museum opened its doors.

In 1998 and 1999, the building was renovated by the Dutch architect Martien van Goor and an exhibition wing by the Japanese modernist architect Kisho Kurokawa was added.

Starting in the fall of 2012, the museum will be closed for renovations for six months. During this period, 75 works from the collection will be shown in the Hermitage Amsterdam.

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