Starry Night @ the Museum

Katie Busby, Entertainment Editor

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter born in 1853. Inspired by Impressionism, which was heralded by artists like Claude Monet, Jean-Francois Millet, who was known for his depictions of farmers, and Japanese Prints, van Gogh’s own style of Post-Impressionism would go on to inspire people within his lifetime and after. Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is a new type of exhibit that uses technology to allow visitors to see paintings up close that are otherwise scattered across the globe. 

Jenny Moore, who visited the exhibit in Austin, said she really appreciated the artwork. She also said she liked being able to see the paintings in their larger forms. 

“It’s all really pretty, his art is just stunning and it’s so incredible to see it projected all around you,” Moore said. “When it is projected into such large spaces too you can really see the brushstrokes and small details in the paintings.”

 Emily Walker was another visitor who  said she enjoyed the exhibit. She also liked how much recognition van Gogh was getting for his paintings. 

“Van Gogh had such a troubled life and died very poor with little recognition for his art, so it’s nice to see what has happened,” Walker said. “Even though he can’t see it, people are hearing his story and seeing his art.” 

Mark Rice, another visitor, said his favorite part of the exhibit was the animated transition into the “Starry Night”. He also said he believes that the popularity of it doesn’t totally rely on just the art. 

“I think that these exhibits are probably so popular because of their presence in pop culture,” Rice said. “They are great exhibits, but they also just look really good on someone’s Instagram feed. Also, an immersive van Gogh exhibit was in that show, ‘Emily in Paris’, on Netflix, which may have sort of alerted people to their existence. I think a good part of their popularity is definitely the aesthetic.”

Walker described the experience as sort of a futuristic art gallery. He said it is a way to enjoy art in a technology-driven world.

“I think the popularity is a combination of things,” Walker said. “You can see many of van Gogh’s paintings all in one place, and it’s a fun activity to experience with family and or friends. It’s a new way to enjoy art, sort of a revolutionized art gallery and it’s really interesting to see.” 

           Moore had similar thoughts about the cause of the popularity of these exhibits, which have opened all over the country and the world. Specific to the one in Austin, she said the exhibit has a nice flow that dispels crowds and allows visitors to appreciate the art. 

“I think exhibits like these have become so popular because you can see so much beautiful art in one place and in an interesting way,” Moore said. “It’s a larger than life experience and you can see so many of van Gogh’s paintings and the way they transition between paintings and sets of paintings is really cool.”

Walker said she likes how accessible the exhibit makes van Gogh’s art, providing the experience of several museums around the world in the form of one ticket. Rice agreed, and he also liked the learning opportunity the exhibit provided for van Gogh’s life. 

            “I think that it’s very aesthetically pleasing and it’s definitely somewhat a set up for photo opportunities, but they are very pretty photos,” Rice said. “It’s really nice to be able to see so much of his art in one place and also learn a little about his life.”