From 28 September 2023 to 7 January 2024, Pikachu, Eevee, Snorlax and many other Pokémon will be shown in a whole new light at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. A variety of Pokémon-themed activities will be available in the museum and online, aimed at making Vincent van Gogh’s works discovered and known to young budding artists.
Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum have organized an official collaboration aimed at bringing the works of Vincent van Gogh to a new audience on the occasion of the museum’s 50th anniversary. The works of Vincent van Gogh and the world of Pokémon share a special connection with Japanese art and culture. Japanese prints had a very profound impact on Van Gogh’s art and his vision of his world. In a letter to his brother Theo, dated September 1888, Van Gogh wrote: “And it would not be possible to study Japanese art, I think, without becoming much more serene and happy. It makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of conventions.”
Emilie Gordenker, general director of the Van Gogh Museum, commented:
This collaboration will allow the next generation to experience the art and story of Vincent van Gogh in a whole new way. The Van Gogh Museum and The Pokémon Company International have drawn on many years of educational practice to create a special experience for children, their guardians, and, we hope, many others at the Van Gogh Museum.
The collaboration between Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum will present the following installations from September 28, 2023 to January 7, 2024. To participate in the activities you will need a normal museum entrance ticket, which can be purchased exclusively online.
“Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum” exhibition (permanent collection, floor 1):
Some of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works in the Van Gogh Museum’s permanent collection were used as inspiration for six paintings created by artists from The Pokémon Company. Among these it will be possible to admire Pikachu in a work inspired by the Self-Portrait with a Gray Felt Hat (1887), Sunflora hidden in a variant of the famous painting Sunflowers (1889) and Snorlax and Munchlax relaxing in a creation inspired by the Bedroom (1888). These six paintings created especially for the occasion will be exhibited on the first floor of the main building (Rietveldgebouw).
“A Pokémon Adventure” activity (ages 6 and up, booklets distributed in the lobby):
The “A Pokémon Adventure” booklet will guide visitors through the works of Vincent van Gogh that inspired the six creations on display in the special “Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum” exhibition. During this activity, visitors will discover the museum and the stories related to the paintings. Once the activity is finished, participants will be able to hand in their completed booklet to receive in exchange a special “Pikachu x Van Gogh Museum” promotional card (available in English and while supplies last). “A Pokémon Adventure” will be available in English and Dutch.
Online educational materials Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum: Van Gogh at School (education level: elementary and middle school):
Van Gogh had a deep admiration for everything related to Japan and Japanese prints taught him to look at the world differently. He was particularly attracted to the use of flat expanses of strong colours, everyday subjects and attention to the details of nature. Starting from the “Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum” collaboration, students will discover the connection between Van Gogh and Japan and how inspiration can be a two-way street. The teaching materials will be available in English and Dutch.