If you didn’t know, Ben is a big art fan. He enjoys art museums and has taken art lessons to learn new techniques. When he heard the Van Gogh exhibition was coming to Cincinnati, he was excited to go. The Van Gogh Exhibition travels to different cities in the US and Europe. We made it a date day and got the VIP tickets (which included the VR room).
If you buy the tickets ahead, it will say “Secret Location”. You will be notified before the exhibit (we got the email about two weeks before). Cincinnati’s location was located downtown, in the Carew Tower building. There is on-street parking, as well as a parking garage attached to the building.
We grabbed breakfast down at Findlay Market and headed over to the exhibit. After you check in, you enter the Museum portion. Take your time here! There is so much to read and learn. There are prints of his works on the wall (not his real artwork, but canvas prints of his paintings), as well as panels detailing his history. There was a short film about the use of color in his paintings; they think he may have been color blind! The use of bright colors may have stemmed from the fact that those were the ones he saw well. The film showed an image of what Van Gogh may have seen color-wise, and it was all muted.
As you traveled down the room, there was a statue of a vase against a screen. A projector showed images of different vase-based paintings, imposing them over the larger-than-life-sized vase.
The Immersive Room was a large open room, and this is the image you will see the most when it comes to advertising the event. There were benches and lounge chairs scattered throughout the room. You could see various paintings of his shown on a large scale. They added movement to the images, for example, the blossoms falling from the flowers and trees. It was nice to sit and relax and take in the experience. (Click for longer video clips of immersive room.)
After the Immersive Room, you went to the coloring station. You could pick an artwork of Van Gogh’s and color it yourself, or create your own on a blank piece of paper. They had crayons available for you to use. When you were done, you could scan your artwork and it would be uploaded to their website. You could keep your creation or tape it to the wall.
The VR room was next and was optional for an additional cost if you had the standard ticket (but is included with the VIP ticket). I enjoyed it, but Ben’s headset was a little fuzzy. They had you wear a paper mask under the headset (I’m guessing for minimal cleaning on their part?). If you have used a VR before, this isn’t the crisp, clear, high definition you may expect. All the graphics make it seem like you are in a painting.
NOTE: Based on other people’s reviews, we choose the VIP experience because we wanted to do the VR room. The VIP included the standard ticket, the VR, “skip the line”, and a poster. Our ticket time was at 10:00 am, right when they opened, so we didn’t have any trouble with waiting for a spot in the VR room. The VR was only $5 per person, so if you want to save some money and don’t think there will be a big line, and don’t need/want a poster, I would just buy a standard ticket and the VR when you get there. (There was not an option to simply add the VR to the standard ticket online.)
It was a really neat experience and I am glad we went. If you love art, or are simply a Van Gogh fan, then you would probably enjoy this exhibit.
- WHERE: Various locations. Cincinnati’s location is at 18 West Fourth St. Check website for other cities.
- HOURS: Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Weekends/Holidays 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
- COSTS: Standard ticket $34.90/adult tickets, ages 13+, $19.90/child.
- PARKING: Yes (paid on-street or garage)
- BATHROOM: Yes
- TIME RECOMMENDED: 1 to 1.5 hours
- COVID RESTRICTIONS: N/A
- Details correct at time of posting, please double-check before you go.