Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dutch Darlings - Flowers and Van Gogh

Because we live around the corner, we were lucky enough to get invited to the grand opening of the new Van Gogh museum entrance (did I mention what a great neighborhood we live in?).

It was a fabulous event, just a small group of invitees with champagne and hors d'oeuvres.  And they allowed us to tour the entire museum with lots of experts to answer questions.

The new entrance - lots of curved glass and open spaces!
The new entrance is fantastic - a big improvement over the current entrance, with lines that go around the block.  Evidently it's been under construction for a long time, so it's worth the celebration!  Can you find us in the photo below?  Somehow we ended up in their promotional photos!
Photo:  Courtesy Van Gogh Museum
But the best part of the grand opening?  They wanted to commemorate Van Gogh's 125th anniversary of his death - so they brought in 125,000 sunflowers and created a giant maze on the Museumplein.

But that was just one of the big events focusing on the Van Gogh anniversary.  On the day of his death, a group from his hometown came to Amsterdam to create a giant flower mural portrait.

All ages were included and the kids seemed to have a great time creating their own masterpieces!

The finished project!
This same group holds an annual flower parade (the biggest in the Netherlands) every September.  We drove down for the parade and were overwhelmed with the floats!

Can you see the individual flowers?

They were amazing....but also a bit disturbing.  The theme seemed to be the short, tortured life of Vincent!  The floats were all animated and included lots of creepy music, to highlight the effect.  The creepiness doesn't translate well with the photos.....but I'm sure you get the idea!

The purple buds open to these bright flowers
My favorite - a porcupine made of pencils!
They spelled out his name in blue flowers on each pencil

Anatomically correct - in flowers!!!

Possibly my second favorite - how did they assemble this with fresh flowers??

No matter which way you looked at this, there were faces staring at you

Somehow this celebration of Van Gogh expresses a lot of what we have found the Netherlands has to offer.  Great artistic talent, flair for the big events and lots of color and energy.  So exciting to be here!

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  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the photos. Thanks for sharing them. Incredible works of art!

  2. I can't imagine how long it took to put those together & with flowers! Talented people. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous colors.

  3. Just a question, we love Amsterdam and have considered spending six months or so there while on sabatical. Reading all that you went through to get your dog there, do you think it would be worth it for that short amount of time? And yes (sadly) we seem to make life decisions based on the comfort of our dog! Love your blog and thrilled to be reading about your new adventure. Thank you.

  4. If you give yourself a lot of lead time (4-5 weeks), you can get through all the vet visits & shots and get the state vet to sign the papers. It just takes a lot of coordination. But it's so worth it!! They say Amsterdam is Ex-Pat life for beginners and we totally agree!. And once you arrive, you can get a dog passport at the local vet and take your dog anywhere in Europe. Our dog is with us at a Chateau in France this weekend and loving it! She went to dinner at a beautiful restaurant with us and is happily sharing our room. BTW - KLM for the dog was fantastic.

  5. Beautiful floats but still very eerie! I can't believe how close you can get to them.


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