Supervisory Board statement
2018 was once again a resoundingly successful year for the Van Gogh Museum. Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries continue to inspire millions of people all around the world, as is reflected in the sustained high numbers of visitors to both the museum and its website. In the past year, 2,165,000 art lovers from the Netherlands and abroad visited the museum, and our online fan base grew exponentially. After being officially opened by King Willem-Alexander during a celebratory event, the exhibition Van Gogh & Japan attracted an impressive 430,000 visitors, making it a great success.
Van Gogh aspires was published last year, the Strategic Plan 2018-2020 outlining how the museum will work towards realising its Strategic Pillars in the years ahead. In its endeavours to deliver and uphold its mission, vision and core values, the museum focuses on three dimensions: local, global and digital.
In 2018, the local aspect was reflected in Van Gogh Connects, the learning pathway in which the museum is exploring how it can attract a more diverse range of visitors. On the global level, new venues have been secured for the Meet Vincent van Gogh experience, allowing us to share Van Gogh’s legacy with even more people all around the world. The digital dimension was addressed with activities including the virtual exhibition #SunflowersLIVE, the digitisation of the collection of Japanese prints and Van Gogh Highlights: a new online platform presenting a selection of Van Gogh’s letters.
In 2018, Joanne Kellermann left the Supervisory Board after eight years of dedicated service. We would like to thank Joanne for her commitment over the years. Maurine Alma was appointed as a new member. We welcome Maurine to the Supervisory Board and look forward to working together with her in the years ahead.
The Supervisory Board is keen to express its gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the BankGiro Loterij, Van Lanschot and all other Van Gogh Museum partners and supporters. It is partly thanks to their (financial) support that the Van Gogh Museum was able to achieve such notable successes. We also sincerely thank the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, owner of the majority of the collection, for its unwavering support during the past year.
It goes without saying that the success of the Van Gogh Museum is largely down to the undiminished popularity of the art of Vincent van Gogh and the quality and character of the museum’s collection. However, our passionate and expert staff are essential to all efforts focused on making the life and work of Van Gogh and his contemporaries accessible through exhibitions, publications and numerous other (online) activities, on ensuring that a visit to the museum is a unique experience and on preserving and managing the collection.
We are grateful to the Board of the Van Gogh Museum for the fruitful and close collaboration during the past year. It is therefore most regrettable that we will be bidding farewell to Director Axel Rüger in 2019, and we would like to take the opportunity to wish him every success in his new role of Secretary and CEO at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. And finally, we thank all members of staff at the museum for their passion, commitment and professionalism, thanks to which 2018 will be remembered as another exciting and successful year in the museum’s history.
On behalf of the members of the Supervisory Board,
Jacobina Brinkman, Hein van Beuningen, Gary Tinterow, Joanne Kellermann, Maurine Alma
Chair of the Supervisory Board