That the exhibition would be a complete success was already foreseeable before the doors of the Städel opened for MAKING VAN GOGH for the first time. But the fact that more than half a million visitors flocked to the museum on the banks of the Main between the end of October and last Sunday, making the show the most visited exhibition in the history of the Städel Museum, was not a foregone conclusion. In total, there were 505,750 visitors, some of whom endured long waits to visit the comprehensive special exhibition.
The successful show focused on the emergence of the "van Gogh myth" around 1900 and the significance of his art for modernism in Germany. For this purpose, the Städel brought together more than 120 paintings and works on paper, with 50 central works by Vincent van Gogh from all creative phases forming the core of the exhibition. MAKING VAN GOGH was thus also the most comprehensive presentation of the painter's works in Germany for almost 20 years, attracting not only art lovers from Frankfurt and the surrounding area to the Städel Museum. And so, in the end, the previous frontrunners - "Monet and the Birth of Impressionism" (2015, 432,121 visitors) and "Botticelli" (2009/2010, 367,033 visitors), followed by "Dürer. Art - Artists - Context" (2013/2014, 258,577 visitors) - were once again clearly eclipsed.
Visitor interest was so great right at the beginning that the regular opening hours were extended by one hour, until 7:00 pm. Since the crowds did not diminish towards the end, but an extension was not possible for various reasons, the works were shown daily until 9:00 pm for the last two weeks. On the last exhibition weekend (Fri and Sat), the museum even closed its doors only at 23.00.
There are also quite a few success stories when it comes to the supporting programme: A total of 4,570 guided tours were offered, including 465 tours for daycare centers and schools as well as 875 overview tours in German and English. And the free audio guide app for the MAKING VAN GOGH exhibition, spoken by actor Lars Eidinger, was downloaded over 100,000 times. But that's not all: the five-part podcast FINDING VAN GOGH about the eventful history of the legendary painting Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890) has been streamed and downloaded a total of 210,000 times to date. In addition, Städel Museum 2020 was nominated for the German Podcast Award in the category "Best Production" as well as for the Golden Bloggers 2019 in the category "Best Podcast".
So this exhibition was truly a complete success for all involved and a cultural treat for the visitors. We congratulate the makers of MAKING VAN GOGH and look forward to further exciting exhibitions at the Städel Museum. You can find all the information at: https://www.staedelmuseum.en/en