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 International 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 Sept. 28 until Jan. 7, 2024. To participate in the activities, a regular museum admission ticket is required which can only be purchased online.
‘Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum’ presentation (permanent collection, floor 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 Atrium)
A Pokémon Adventure leaflet will lead visitors along the works by Vincent van Gogh that served as inspiration for the paintings in the six-piece special presentation, Pokémon at 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 both 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 colors, everyday subjects and attention for detail in nature spoke to him. Using the Pokémon x Van Gogh collaboration as a starting point, pupils will learn about the connection between Van Gogh and Japan, and about how inspiration can work in two directions. The teaching materials are available in both Dutch and English.
‘How to draw Pikachu’ video guide (Restaurant Rietveldgebouw 0)
A guided video activity will be available within the museum which teaches visitors how to draw the fan favorite Pokémon Pikachu and encourages them to try it for themselves.
‘Pokémon Center x Van Gogh Museum’ merchandise
The Pokémon Center online store will feature an exclusive range of ‘Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum’ merchandise featuring the art from the collaboration. Items available include a special Vincent Van Gogh inspired Pikachu Plush, Trading Card Game sleeves, Van Gogh inspired figures of Pikachu and Eevee, Poster Prints, a Jigsaw Puzzle and more. A special promotional ‘Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat’ trading card inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat’ will be available as a gift with purchase item with all Pokémon Center x Van Gogh Museum products. Products and promotional trading cards are available whilst stocks last. For the full ranges available please visit www.pokemoncenter.com in the U.S. and www.pokemoncenter.ca in Canada.
The Van Gogh Museum Shop will also feature an exclusive range of Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum merchandise featuring art from 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.’
For further information on the collaboration, please visit the Van Gogh Museum website.
About the Van Gogh Museum
With a collection encompassing more than 200 paintings, almost 500 drawings and over 700 letters, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam brings together the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh anywhere in the world. The permanent collection takes visitors on a journey through his life and illuminates the ideas and ambitions that drove his art. Each year, the museum attracts visitors from around the globe and reaches millions more through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and its website with the art and life of Vincent van Gogh.
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, please visit www.pokemon.com