A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Van Gogh Experience

I'm not sure when Fall Break became a thing, but since we had a few days off, I decided we needed to do something fun.  (And slightly educational, but don't tell them that.)  

We went to the Van Gogh experience in Sacramento.  Aside from Katie thinking the valet was stealing Matilda (the minivan), it was pretty neat.  

The whole shebang is set up inside a warehouse, and you walk through it at your own pace, like a museum.  

There are facts about the artist

And reproductions of his paintings

And videos about his life

I was glad that I'd seen one of his real works (at the art museum in Hawaii) because a flat reproduction can't possibly convey the great globs of paint he sloshed onto the canvas.  

One of the interesting things we learned is that the pigment he used to make reds has broken down with time, so we don't see the same colors now as when they were first painted.  

Speaking of color, it's suggested that Van Gogh himself didn't see the whole spectrum of colors that humans typically see.  

Some of the artwork was rendered in 3D, like this view of the sanitorium where many of his works were created.  

And this one, which is actually many pieces hung separately, 

But appears as a unified picture from the front.  

Hannah and Katie standing in a 3D reproduction of the bedroom painting.

There's a room you go into that's all mirrored, and there's soft music and moving sunflowers everywhere.  

And then there's a much bigger room, with a "show" of sorts, featuring music, projections, quotes, etc.

It's hard to explain, but the effect was soothing and entertaining.

It lasts half an hour, and there are chairs and benches to get comfy while you watch.  

You know how when you see a word in print, you don't always know how to pronounce it correctly?  Well, this was the part where Someone learned that "irises" is not prounouced "ear-ises."  

Starry Night, such an iconic masterpiece.  Being surrounded by it was really cool.  

All in all, even though it was expensive ($100 bucks to get the girls and I in the door, plus $15 for parking, and a Gift $hop at the end), I had fun.  I would absolutely go see the Monet or Klimt versions if they came to town.  


  1. We have one in town, too. I'm glad you mentioned about the flat reproduction effect. 30+ years ago I had the privilege of seeing some of his original art, and I believe you're right--the globs of paint and the textures are just not the same in a reproduction.

    Did you ever see the movie Vincent? It's a documentary told through the letters Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. It came out in the 80s, and I still remember it vividly and profoundly. It's a beautiful and tough watch.

    1. I haven't seen that; I'll have to keep an eye out. One of Katie's teachers told me her handwriting got pretty sloppy, so I had her do some copywork as practice. I picked the Van Gogh set from Homeschool Copywork (we reviewed for them, years ago, and got a lifetime membership). Some of what she wrote, she remembered from our visit. I did laugh when the showed one of his letters, and the girls were like, "I can't read it! That's not English!" Americans. We think we're the center of the world, lol.