A German Love Story
The exhibition focuses on the creation of the “legend of Van Gogh” around 1900 as well as his significance to modern art in Germany. It unites more than 120 paintings and works on paper. At the heart of the exhibition are 50 key works by Vincent van Gogh from all phases of his artistic work. It is the most comprehensive presentation in Germany to include works by the painter for nearly 20 years.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)
Pollard willows at sunset, 1888
Oil on canvas on cardboard, 31.6 cm x 34.3 cm
© Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Niederlande
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)
Augustine Roulin, 1889
Oil on canvas, 91 x 71.5 cm
© Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)
Farmhouse in Provence, 1888
Oil on canvas, 46,1 x 60,9 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
© National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection
Peter August Böckstiegel (1889-1951)
Oil on canvas, 48 x 38.5 cm
© Peter-August-Böckstiegel-Stiftung, Werther
Otto Dix (1891-1969)
Oil on cardboard, 50.5 x 66 cm
© Städtische Galerie Dresden – Kunstsammlung
Museen der Stadt Dresden
Photo: Herbert Boswank
acquired 2012 with the support of Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the Kulturstiftung der Länder, der Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung and the Rudolf-August Oetker Stiftung
Woman from the Poorhouse in the Garden with Glass Globe and Poppies, 1907
Oil on canvas, 96.3 x 80.2 cm
Museen Böttcherstraße, Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen
© Museen Böttcherstraße
MAKING VAN GOGH addresses the special role that gallery owners, museums, private collectors and art critics played in Germany in the early twentieth century for the posthumous reception of Van Gogh as the “father of modern art”. Just less than 15 years after his death, in this country Van Gogh was perceived as one of the most important precursor of modern painting. Van Gogh’s life and work attracted broad and lasting public interest. His art was collected in Germany unusually early. By 1914 there was an enormous number of works by Van Gogh, around 150 in total, in private and public German collections. At the same time, German artists began to vigorously examine his works. Van Gogh’s painting became a model and a substantial source of inspiration in particular for the young Expressionists. The emergence of modernism in Germany is hardly conceivable without his art.
“The exhibition (…) is one of the finest shows on the artist in recent years.”The Art Newspaper, Blog, 25 October 2019, Martin Baily
„The Städel Museum's ‘Making Van Gogh’ contains many highlights.“Artnet News, 28 October 2019, Quynh Tran
Van Gogh’s success story is closely connected with the Städel. With the support of the Städelscher Museums-Verein, in 1908 it was one of the first museums to purchase works by the Dutch artist for assembling a modern art collection: the painting Farmhouse in Nuenen (1885) and the drawing Peasant Woman Planting Potatoes (1885). Three years later, the Portrait of Dr Gachet (1890), one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, was bought for the museum’s collection.
In three comprehensive chapters, the exhibition deals with the development and impact of the “legend of Van Gogh” in Germany. How did it come about that Van Gogh became so popular especially in Germany? Who championed his oeuvre, and how did artists respond to it? The exhibition presents Van Gogh as a pivotal figure for art of the German avant-garde. It makes an important contribution to understand the development of art in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Städel unites more than 120 paintings and works on paper in the exhibition. 50 key works by Vincent van Gogh from all of his creative phases constitute the core of the exhibition. On view are outstanding loans from private collections and leading museums world-wide. 70 works by German artists exemplify Van Gogh’s influence and impact on the subsequent generation. These include works by well-known artists such as Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Alexej von Jawlensky, Paula Modersohn-Becker or Gabriele Münter as well as by others whose artistic positions could be rediscovered, including Peter August Böckstiegel, Theo von Brockhusen, Heinrich Nauen or Elsa Tischner-von Durant.
Picture: Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch, Self-Portrait, 1887, Joseph Winterbotham Collection, Art Institute of Chicago
We recommend that you visit the exhibition on a weekday in the late afternoon / early evening. Take advantage of the long opening hours on Thursdays and Fridays until 9.00 pm. Please purchase tickets online to avoid waiting times.
Please be advised that, if you have not booked your tickets online in advance, you can purchase them at the ticket counter in front of the Städel Museum. This may involve brief waiting times. We therefore recommend that you dress warmly.
Owing to high visitor numbers, long queues can be expected at the cashier’s desk, especially in the morning, at lunchtime and on the weekends. Therefore take advantage of our online ticket to avoid the long queues at the cashier’s desk.
Before your visit, the Digitorial – the online preparation for the exhibition – will acquaint you with everything worth knowing about Vincent van Gogh.
A complete overview of “MAKING VAN GOGH”: Our competent and congenial art guides present the highlights of the exhibition, illustrate the contexts, and share all the exciting stories and surprising insights.
Every Tuesday, 5.30 pm
Be sure to book your individual group tour through the exhibition on one of the remaining dates for 2019/2020.
Inquiries and bookings at Book by contacting the Städel at +49(0)69-605098-200 or contact form.
Prior booking is required for all groups.
Information on additional guided tours and the entire accompanying programme will be posted in good time on our website and in our Newsletter(written in German).
Please be advised that there are no special parking spaces for museum visitors directly at the museum. We therefore recommend that you use the nearby multi-storey car parks.
Parking for cars Multi-storey car parks are located within walking distance of approximately 10 minutes from the museum. Names and addresses: Alt-Sachsenhausen: Walter-Kolb-Strasse 16 (B43) Am Theater: Willy-Brandt-Platz 5 Untermainanlage: Untermainanlage 1
Parking for coaches No reservations can be made for coach parking spots. The following coach parks are located in the vicinity of the Städel Museum: map
You will also find further important information for your visit to the Städel Museum under “Questions & Answers”.
Before your visit, the digitorial – the online preparation for the exhibition – will acquaint you with everything worth knowing about MAKING VAN GOGH.
Podcast – New digital offer
In search of the legendary "Portrait of Dr Gachet": this likeness disappeared from public view nearly thirty years ago. The five-part podcast revolves around its eventful history.
Available as Free App
Our free audio guide for the exhibition is the ideal companion for your visit. Available free of charge in English or German for smartphones.
Guided Tours in English in the exhibition „MAKING VAN GOGH“ every Tuesday at 5.30 pm, tickets available in our Online shop.
Meeting point: at the tour counter in the “MAKING VAN GOGH” exhibition.
The extensive catalogue edited by Alexander Eiling and Felix Krämer with the assistance of Elena Schroll published by the Hirmer Verlag accompanies the exhibition. With a foreword by Philipp Demandt and essays by Heike Biedermann, Roland Dorn, Alexander Eiling, Alina Happ, Anna Huber, Joachim Kaak, Stefan Koldehoff, Felix Krämer, Iris Schmeisser, Elena Schroll and Philipp von Wehrden.
Supported by Franz Dieter und Michaela Kaldewei Kulturstiftung, Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
With additional support from FAZIT-STIFTUNG
Media partners Süddeutsche Zeitung, hr – Hessischer Rundfunk, ART Das Kunstmagazin
Marketing partners Alnatura, Fraport AG, Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main, Ströer Deutsche Städte Medien GmbH