DC’s slice of Van Gogh’s Immersive World

Claire Stromseth, Staff Reporter

While Vincent Van Gogh was not celebrated until after his death at just 37, the world has found many ways to honor him. After his sister-in-law collected his paintings for display, they quickly became renowned works of art and “Van Gogh” evolved into a famously recognized name. A Museum in Amsterdam was constructed and dedicated to keeping his work and memory alive. 

Although he died in 1890, people are still trying to find new and innovative ways to praise the artist in the 21st century. In 2008, Annabelle Mauger built the first immersive experience esteeming Van Gogh. Replicas of her work followed this initial creation, which culminated in the development of several different Van Gogh exhibitions. These immersive experiences can now be attended all over the globe.

One of the exhibits is located right here in our nation’s capital. 524 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 houses a show that costs around $35 per ticket. Fortunately, discounts apply for students, seniors and military. Tickets can easily be purchased online through the exhibit’s website. The exhibit has been extended through May of 2022. 

That $35 opens the doors to an unparalleled approach to appreciate the acclaimed artwork. Once inside, the audience is introduced to the first of a three part journey. It consists of a gallery of his work paired with informational plaques. The section also includes an educational video on the details and unknowns of Van Gogh’s short-lived life.

The most reputable, and perhaps the most alluring, part of the experience is up next. As the exhibit goers step into the 20,000 square foot room, they are enveloped in 360 degrees of digitally projected brushstrokes and colors.

As the admirers are encompassed by both lesser and well known products of the artists’ passion, they are transported into Van Gogh’s world. The oil paintings tell a chronological story of the evolution of his artwork. From his distinguished sunflowers to his uncommonly noted phase in Japonisme, every part of the display keeps the viewers engaged. Creatively illustrated quotes add a personal touch, allowing the fans to forge a more personal connection with the artist.

Guests on the website’s review page describe the experience as both captivating and relaxing. Options of chairs, benches, rugs and bean bags give the crowds the opportunity to view the mesmerizing projections from a position of comfort. Today’s technology grants the world this experience. The paintings are scanned in high resolution and over sixty projectors are used to cover the large room.

After leaving the immersive room, an arts and crafts station is available. Here, kids have the option to imitate Van Gogh’s talent. If one is still craving more excitement, VIP passes can be purchased for an additional $20. This permits access to a virtual reality experience. The headset transports people to the French countryside, where he lived and painted before his death.

As the museum-goers begin to head for the exit, they will pass through a corridor in which his famous self portraits hang from the ceiling. This is followed by a gift shop with several options of momentums to memorialize the visit. 

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience will leave attendees with a well rounded knowledge of the artists’ life and the beauty he wrought. Despite spending most of his life depressed and in and out of psych wards, Van Gogh would doubtlessly be proud of the impact his legacy has had on the generations that followed him.