Does ‘Beyond Van Gogh’ Live Up to the Hype?

There are still a few weeks left for this show. So let us tell you if it’s worth the trip.

Let’s get one thing straight. “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” isn’t a museum show. You won’t see Starry Night hanging at the Wisconsin Center. Or any real-life paintings at all, actually.

But you will learn about Vincent Van Gogh’s life through his letters. And you’ll see projections of more than 300 of his artworks streaking across every surface of the exhibition space.

“This is a great opportunity to provide a different entry point into the art world for people who are intimidated by museums,” art historian and creative consultant Fanny Curtat says.

If ticket sales are any indicator – over 65,000 sold before it even opened – the show’s a smashing success. But does it live up to all the hype? And should you plan to throw down nearly $40 for a ticket before it closes on Oct. 31? Read on to learn whether this show is a must-see or a no-go for you.

We say yes! If …

› You have kids. They’ll be captivated by the immersive imagery and accompanying music. And they might learn something to boot.

› You love Disney World, and the idea of wandering through an art show that’s a lot like an elaborate, Van Gogh-themed amusement park ride intrigues you.

› You really need a new profile picture.

And no, if …

› You have a low tolerance for 20- somethings snapping selfies.

› The idea of going to an art exhibition devoid of actual, tangible works of art makes you question the meaning of life. Head to MAM instead!


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s September issue.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.