October 3, 2023
Visitors to the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, will be able to see Pikachu, Eevee, Snorlax and many other Pokémon in a whole new way in an art collaboration that is set to run in the venue through Jan. 7. The experience will feature a variety of Pokémon-themed activities across the museum and online aimed at introducing and teaching young, budding artists about the works of Vincent van Gogh.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum, Pokémon and the museum have launched an official collaboration aimed at introducing new audiences to the work of Vincent van Gogh. Both 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 his worldview. Speaking to his brother, Theo, in a letter in Sept. 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.”
“This collaboration will allow the next generation to get to know Vincent van Gogh’s art and life story in a refreshing way,” says Emilie Gordenker, general director, Van Gogh Museum. “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.”
Pokémon and Van Gogh Museum Collaboration Activations
Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum presentation
Several of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works from the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum inspired 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 hidden in a variant of Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” (1889) and Snorlax and Munchlax relaxing in a work inspired by “The Bedroom” (1888).
A Pokémon Adventure activity
A Pokémon Adventure leaflet will lead visitors along the works by Vincent van Gogh that inspired 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).
Pokémon x Van Gogh online learning material – Van Gogh at School
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 to 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 how inspiration can work in two directions.
How to Draw Pikachu video guide
A guided video activity within the museum will teach visitors how to draw the fan favorite Pokémon, Pikachu, and encourage 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 while stocks last.
A regular museum admission ticket, which can only be purchased online, is required to participate in the activities.
“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,” says Mathieu Galante, director, licensing, The Pokémon Company International. “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.”
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