A second lockdown in the Netherlands has forced the closure of many of the nation’s top museums, but you won’t have to leave your home to see research about the extensive holdings of the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Van Gogh Museum in Otterlo and Amsterdam, respectively.
A new database called Van Gogh Worldwide allows users to access provenances, technical information, archival materials, and more related to 1,000 works on paper and paintings by the famed Post-Impressionist. Launched on Thursday, the database is a collaboration between the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the RKD–Netherlands Institute for Art History, along with the Cultural Heritage Laboratory of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.
Currently on the database is information about roughly half of van Gogh’s output, from his early paintings and drawings focused on the working class to his later, more expressive landscapes. In some cases, users are able to look behind the works to see their versos and also glean technical information, such as reports on restorations and potential damage. In some cases, related quotations from van Gogh’s correspondence with family members and other artists are also included.
For now, Van Gogh Worldwide only includes works held by Dutch institutions such as the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Groninger Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and more. But plans are in place to eventually make available research about works held by international museums. Roughly half of the known works by the artist are currently logged on Van Gogh Worldwide.