I finally made it to the “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibition at the Hawaii Convention Center, and thought I’d share some reflections to add to the abundant responses on social media.
I’ll do it in a Q&A format:
- Is it worth attending? It’s a top-tier vehicle, on a wide tour here and elsewhere, and it’s clearly akin to a museum coming to you. You might encounter this on a future Mainland trip, but since it’s here, why not?
- Is it costly? Nothing is truly cheap anymore; yes, admission is pricey, but for a discount of sort, go weekdays; weekend entry fees are higher. Weekend prices: $45 adult, $40 seniors, students, and military; $23 children (costs rounded out).
- What makes this better than, say, an exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art? For starters, this is an immersive hap, so you’re part of the visuals you’ll encounter. The art comes to life, so to speak, swirling and dancing across all walls of the main exhibition area; many familiar artwork are depicted, but you may have to look hither and yon to see the range; the exhibit is exquisite in darkness, heightening the color.
- Is it accessible for the handicapped? Yes, wheelchairs are allowed; chairs are available for the asking, once you’re at the exhibit area; there are limited benches, otherwise; I brought my own stool, since I tire when standing a long time, but took an open seat when it was vacated.
- What’s the best point of the exhibit? It’s a personal choice; you’ll be amazed at the range of Van Gogh’s self-portraits, and witness his altering brush stroke styles; I loved his still life, like sunflowers; the art provided a sense of how he felt about life, his country, his people. Especially stunning: “The Starry Night” and “The Sunflowers.”
- Downsides? Not really, but a stroll through informational morsels was longish, with a lot to read; the intention is to educate, but pictures are worth, as they say, a thousand words, and the gallery of the paintings hit the mark. Oh, there’s the expected gift shop, a pop-up store, with T-shirts ($35), mugs, posters, and bookmarks ($6); no postcards, however. Museum shop prices prevail.
- Extended dates: Through Sept. 26..
- Final words: The common punchline: Gogh see it!