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Events | Highlights

POKÉMON X VAN GOGH MUSEUM

28 Sep - 2023

Tags from the story: Pokémon, Van Gogh Museum.

See Pikachu, Eevee, Snorlax and many other Pokémon in a whole new way starting 28 September until 7 January 2024 at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Experience a variety of Pokémon themed activities across the museum and online aimed at introducing and teaching young budding artists about the works of Vincent van Gogh.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum, Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum have launched an official collaboration aimed at introducing new audiences to the work of Vincent van Gogh. Both Vincent van Gogh’s work and Pokémon have a special connection with Japanese art and culture. Japanese prints had a profound impact on Vincent’s art and on his world view. Speaking to his brother Theo in a letter in September 1888, Vincent said ‘And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention.’ 

Emilie Gordenker, General Director of the Van Gogh Museum commented: “This collaboration will allow the next generation to get to know Vincent van Gogh’s art and life story in a refreshing way. The Van Gogh Museum and The Pokémon Company have drawn on many years of educational expertise to create a special experience for children, their supervisors, and we hope many others at the Van Gogh Museum.

The Pokémon and Van Gogh Museum collaboration will feature the following activations running from 28 September until 7 January 2024. To participate in the activities a regular museum admission ticket is mandatory, which can only be purchased online.

Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum presentation

(permanent collection, Rietveldgebouw 1)

Several of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works from the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum served as inspiration for six paintings made by artists from The Pokémon Company. Examples include Pikachu shown in a work that is inspired by Self-portrait with Grey Felt Hat (1887), the Pokémon Sunflora is hidden in a variant of Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers (1889), and you can find Snorlax and Munchlax relaxing in a work inspired by The Bedroom (1888). You can admire these six specially created paintings on the first floor of the Rietveld building (Rietveldgebouw).

A Pokémon Adventure activity

(6 years+, activity leaflets are handed out at the Information Desk, Atrium)

A Pokémon Adventure leaflet will lead young visitors along the works by Vincent van Gogh that served as inspiration for the paintings in the six-piece special presentation, Pokémon in the Van Gogh Museum. During the activity, visitors will discover the museum and the stories behind the paintings. Once participants complete the Pokémon Adventure activity, they can hand in their completed leaflet for a special Pikachu x Van Gogh Museum promo card (subject to availability). The Pokémon Adventure leaflet is available in Dutch and English.

Pokémon x Van Gogh online learning material

Van Gogh at School  – (Upper primary lower secondary education level)

Vincent greatly admired everything related to Japan, and Japanese prints taught him to look at the world differently. The use of flat planes of strong colours, everyday subjects and attention for detail in nature spoke to him. Using the Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum collaboration as a starting point, pupils will learn about the connection between Van Gogh and Japan, and about how inspiration can go in two directions. The teaching materials are available in Dutch and English.

‘How to draw Pikachu’ video guide

(at the restaurant, Rietveldgebouw 0)

A guided video activity will be available in the museum that teaches visitors how to draw fan favourite Pokémon Pikachu, and encourages them to try this for themselves.

The Van Gogh Museum Shop (inside the museum and online) and The Pokémon Centre online store will feature an exclusive range of Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum merchandise featuring the art of the collaboration.

Director of Licensing at The Pokémon Company International, Mathieu Galante commented “We are always looking for fantastic partners that we can create unique and joyful experiences with for Pokémon fans, and we have genuinely found that in working with the Van Gogh Museum. There is a strong link between the inspiration behind Pokémon and the inspiration behind some of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous work. With this collaboration we really hope that we can see children discovering and immersing themselves into the world of art through the incredible works of Van Gogh and Pokémon.


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