The Van Gogh Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary: a significant milestone for the renowned museum that is devoted to the work of Vincent van Gogh and his time. During the anniversary celebration on Museumplein, Princess Beatrix received a sunflower on behalf of Emilie Gordenker (Director of the Van Gogh Museum) and Janne Heling (Chairwoman of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation). The Princess’ mother, Queen Juliana, was also presented with a sunflower at the opening of the museum 50 years ago. 


The presentation of the sunflower to Princess Beatrix, 50 years after her mother Juliana received a sunflower, was a special moment during the anniversary celebrations. It symbolised the continuous involvement of the Royal Family with the museum, and the esteem in which they hold Vincent van Gogh’s work. Following the ceremony, the guests – including Princess Beatrix – were given an exclusive guided tour of the anniversary exhibition Van Gogh in Auvers. His Final Months, which is on display until 3 September 2023. This exhibition offers a singular perspective on the artist’s life and work during his time in Auvers-sur-Oise, in the last three months of his life. 

Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Van Gogh Museum, wore a dress designed especially for the occasion by Edwin Oudshoorn. The golden embroidery designs of sheaves of wheat and the deep-blue raffia material used for the dress are references to the French countryside in the summer, which Van Gogh so beautifully captured in his work.    

A present for the city 

As a present for the city of Amsterdam, a spectacular drone performance is planned at 23.00. Designed by Studio DRIFT, this performance highlights the innovative and creative spirit for which the museum stands.  

Earlier in the day, museum staff handed out tens of thousands of sunflowers, transforming Museumplein into a colourful sea of flowers. This gift underlines the Van Gogh Museum’s appreciation for the public, who have supported the museum for so many years, and for whom the museum was ultimately built.  The Van Gogh Museum reflects on 50 successful years, in which the museum has achieved global recognition as an essential destination for art lovers. The 50th anniversary represents a landmark in the museum’s mission to inspire a diverse audience with the life and work of Vincent