Introducing a Child-Friendly Partnership at the Van Gogh Museum

Teaching kids about art in a fun new way.

Oct 25, 2023


Art, Creative
Introducing a Child-Friendly Partnership at the Van Gogh Museum | Teaching kids about art in a fun new way.

Art museums allow you to see some of the greatest paintings and sculptures in the world. Viewing art can be inspirational for adults but children who are used to more hands-on activities can be easily bored with this passive experience.can be easily bored with this passive experience.

That’s why the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is partnering with Pokémon (which began as a Nintendo game) to teach school-aged children about one of the Netherland’s most renowned artists. Pokémon-themed exhibits will run through January 2024 and are part of the Van Gogh museum’s 50 th anniversary celebration, according to a press release from the museum.

“This collaboration will allow the next generation to get to know Vincent Van Gogh’s art and life story in a refreshing way. The Van Gogh Museum and the Pokémon Company 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,” Emilie Gordenker, general director of the Van Gogh Museum said in the press release.

Who was Van Gogh?
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch impressionist painter who lived from 1853 to 1890.  This prolific artist created over 2,100 artworks including 860 oil paintings. Some of his most famous paintings are Starry Night, Sunflowers and his 1889 self-portrait.

The museum that bears his name contains some of his most iconic paintings as well as works by Van Gogh’s contemporary artists. Now it is featuring this child-friendly collaboration.

The Pokémon collaboration
While a collaboration between a Dutch museum and The Pokémon Company seems like a stretch, the artist admired Japanese art with its strong colors, use of flat planes and everyday objects, as well as the detailed depictions of nature, according to the press release. Japanese art inspired Van Gogh and this is evident in his work. This connection is stressed in the educational materials that were created for the special program.

For the special collaboration with Pokémon, artists from the company created works that were inspired by some of Van Gogh’s famous paintings, reported Forbes, including featuring Pikachu shown in a work that is inspired by Self-portrait with Grey Felt Hat and the Pokémon Sunflora is hidden in a variant of the artist’s famous Sunflowers.

There are also hands-on activities for kids ages 6 and up, that include teaching the young visitors how to draw Pikachu; one of the most recognizable faces of the Pokémon brand. Other activities include a scavenger hunt and once a child has completed all the activities, they will receive a Van Gogh Museum prom card to add to any Pokémon collection.

Art offers so many benefits for children including stimulating creativity, enhancing problem solving skills, helps fine motor skills, as well as visual-spacing development, according to a blog on Painting to Go. The new collaboration at the Van Gogh museum will encourage kids to grow and to appreciate fine art at the same time. And that is a win/win.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.