Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters of all time. I’ve always felt a connection with him because of his mental health struggles. His work, Starry Night, is my favorite painting of all time. When I heard there was going to be a special Van Gogh exhibit in my hometown of Orlando, Florida I was quick to grab tickets.
The exhibit is touring in 20 cities nationwide and each city is slightly different than the others. I’m not sure how many of Van Gogh’s paintings are included in the exhibit but they advertise that it includes the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889), and so much more.
Pricing will vary by city. In Orlando, a peak day ticket cost around $55 and an off-peak day would set you back around $40, plus taxes and fees. That gets you into the exhibit and that’s it. You can pay for upgrades that get you a rental cushion, poster, flexible entry, a keeper cushion, and more.
I was expecting to walk through different rooms with Van Gogh’s work being digitally enhanced on the walls with a soundtrack. I also expected opportunities to learn about him and interact with the exhibit.
What I got was a really cool entryway with a tree made of letters, a huge painting of Van Gogh, and a QR code explaining the letters Van Gogh wrote during his time. That was the only piece of interactive learning in this exhibit. There were some pieces on the wall with tidbits about Van Gogh but nothing that was earth-shattering or not in his Wiki.
The exhibit itself in Orlando was one room decent-sized room and it played on a 35-minute loop. They had curtains you had to walk through to get in and out, but they did not stagger the groups. You did not know at what point in the loop you were walking in.
The exhibit was cool but despite being able to stay as long as I wanted, I found that 35 minutes was enough for me. I enjoyed seeing some of Van Gogh’s most popular paintings taking a new life in a digital way.
The musical score is loud but not overstimulating. You are allowed to leave the room and re-enter if you need a break. The only problem with that is that you miss parts of the loop. At times the room fades to black but you can still see fairly well. Some of the paintings were disorienting to look at because of the animation they used.
Cushions were available with certain ticket tiers or you could rent one. They did not have the ones that were keepers separated from the rentals which kind of turned me off. They are a pretty cool souvenir if you have need for that kind of thing. Otherwise, renting one or grabbing one of the benches will work fine.
Kids or No Kids
I saw a few kids and I saw a couple of strollers. I never heard a screaming youngling. With the loop being 35 minutes and the idea is to sit and watch, it’s probably not something I would bring anyone who is under 10 years old to.
Benches were placed around the room and large white circles were projected on the floor for social distancing. It was not enforced though and it looked like they were just letting in as many people that showed up for the exhibit. Some locations may be better at enforcing COVID protocols so don’t judge them all by this review.
The gift shop had some interesting stuff. I was particularly fond of the Starry Night bomber jacket.
The base ticket is plenty for this exhibit. I was given a promo code to check this out for free and it gave me a steep discount on the VIP Flex ticket. I took it since I don’t do this thing often and honestly, what I paid for it was worth it but the real price, not so much.
The real reason you go is to support the arts in your area so they will bring other exhibits like this into your hometown.
Disclaimer: GeekMom was given review tickets to this experience.