Last Updated on October 5, 2023

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum, Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have launched an official collaboration aimed at introducing new audiences to the work of Vincent van Gogh. Both Vincent van Gogh’s work and Pokémon have a special connection with Japanese art and culture.

Japanese prints had a profound impact on Vincent’s art and on his world view. Speaking to his brother Theo in a letter in September 1888, Vincent wrote,  “And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier andmore cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention.

The Pokémon and Van Gogh Museum collaboration will feature the following activations running until Januar 7, 2024. To participate in the activities, a regular museum admission ticket is required which can only be purchased online.

‘Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum’ presentation 

Several of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works from the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum served as inspiration for six paintings made by artists from The Pokémon Company. Examples include, Pikachu shown in a work that is inspired by Self-portrait with Grey Felt Hat (1887), the Pokémon Sunflora is hidden in a variant of Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers (1889), and you can find Snorlax and Munchlax relaxing in a work inspired by The Bedroom (1888).

A Pokémon Adventure activity 

Pokémon Adventure leaflet available to visitors 6 years+ will lead guests along the works by Vincent van Gogh that served as inspiration for the paintings in the six-piece special presentation, Pokémon at the Van Gogh Museum. During the activity, visitors will discover the museum and the stories behind the paintings.

Once participants complete the Pokémon Adventure activity, they can hand in their completed leaflet for a special Pikachu x Van Gogh Museum promo card (subject to availability). The Pokémon Adventure leaflet is available in both Dutch and English.

Pokémon x Van Gogh online learning material – Van Gogh at School 

Vincent greatly admired everything related to Japan, and Japanese prints taught him to look at the world differently. The use of flat planes of strong colors, everyday subjects and attention for detail in nature spoke to him. Using the Pokémon x Van Gogh collaboration as a starting point, pupils will learn about the connection between Van Gogh and Japan, and about how inspiration can work in two directions. 

The teaching materials are available in both Dutch and English.

‘How to draw Pikachu’ video guide

A guided video activity will be available within the museum which teaches visitors how to draw the fan favorite Pokémon Pikachu and encourages them to try it for themselves.

‘Pokémon Center x Van Gogh Museum’ merchandise

The Pokémon Center online store will feature an exclusive range of ‘Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum’ merchandise featuring the art from the collaboration. Items available include a special Vincent Van Gogh inspired Pikachu Plush, Trading Card Game sleeves, Van Gogh inspired figures of Pikachu and Eevee, Poster Prints, a Jigsaw Puzzle and more.

A special promotional ‘Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat’ trading card inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat’ will be available as a gift with purchase item with all Pokémon Center x Van Gogh Museum products. Products and promotional trading cards are available whilst stocks last.

For the full ranges available please visit www.pokemoncenter.com in the U.S. and www.pokemoncenter.ca in Canada.

The Van Gogh Museum Shop will also feature an exclusive range of Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum merchandise featuring art from the collaboration.

For further information on the collaboration, please visit the Van Gogh Museum website.

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