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For more than four decades, the Van Gogh Museum has offered visitors an extensive look at the life of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s greatest artists.  The Amsterdam-based museum continues to grow into one of the largest throughout Europe, with more than 2.2 million visitors in 2017, but making the trek to see the largest collection of Van Gogh artwork in the world isn’t always easy for most Americans.  However, this year, the Van Gogh Museum will bring several of the artist’s famous paintings to life throughout the United States, in a unique way that has never been seen – or touched, for that matter.

In a new Pop-Up Exhibition set to tour much of the U.S., the Van Gogh Museum provides an up-close look at the artist’s paintings, with stories behind their creation.  There’s only one little catch, the nine paintings featured in the exhibit are actually reproductions – but don’t let that fool you. Created with the latest three-dimensional printing technology, these replicas have been approved by the museum’s curators and feature the texture of every brush stroke, every crack and crease from the original work’s canvas and even a fingerprint or two from Van Gogh himself.  One of the museum’s representatives even mentioned that when side-by-side, the original and reproductions are indistinguishable.  Visitors are encouraged to touch each painting to better understand how it was created and the emotion Van Gogh hoped to articulate. Some reproductions included are The Sunflowers and The Bedroom, both from 1888, which was just two years before his death.

Even the frames are magnificent, with each one hand-crafted by the same company that makes the Queen of England’s frames.  Plus, the backs have been reproduced with the stickers marking the dates and locations the work has visited, as found on the originals.

Accompanied with the paintings are letters.  Van Gogh wrote letters with each painting that he sent to his brother Theo, who was an art dealer in France.  While Van Gogh only sold one work during his lifetime, his letters offered a behind-the-scenes look to much of his art, allowing the museum to better understand how he felt and what each one might represent, as well as the ability to track the various pieces.  Quotes and descriptions with the paintings tie it all together nicely, however we definitely recommend picking the brain of the museum representative, who is a walking Van Gogh encyclopedia and can offer a wealth of information, as well as little nuances each reproduction brings to life.

Van Gogh Museum Editions Pop-up tour

The Van Gogh Museum Editions Pop-up Tour just launched in Philadelphia! Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent van Gogh at the @King of Prussia Mall: http://vangogh.com/kAWo30liE3r

Posted by Van Gogh Museum on Friday, August 17, 2018

The tour is currently at the King of Prussia Mall, in the Philadelphia suburbs, until Oct. 14, at which point it’ll make other stops in northern New Jersey, Houston, Boston, Hartford, Denver, Los Angeles.  The price of admission is $5 and free to children and veterans.  The reproductions are for sale, if you want one, though it’s a hefty price of around $17,000.