Sure—us, you, Kanye West, your grandmother—we’ve all got blogs. But the new project hosted on the website of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is the first time we’ve heard of a singular work of art from a master of the early modern school having its own regularly updated website. Called “Bedroom Secrets”, the new blog follows the slow-moving but nonetheless fascinating adventures of a version of Van Gogh’s famous 1888 still life, “Bedroom in Arles” as it undergoes a full restoration at their curatorial department.
Already restored once in the 1930s, “Bedroom in Arles” was showing its age—moisture from Van Gogh’s original studio and subsequent presentations at museums left the masterpiece cracked, bubbled, and fading. As we read on the blog, though the head of restoration at the museum, Ella Hendriks, has a long, difficult job ahead of her, her love for the painting and the work is strong and infectious. With periodic posts by museum director Axel Rüger and assistant curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho, the blog provides not only up-to-minute updates of the various x-ray studies and steps taken to heal the painting, but also background and historical context that explain its value as both an aesthetic work and a personal artifact. Although the blog has just begun, we’re already hooked on the inside view of the curatorial process it offers with close-up microscope shots of Van Gogh’s brush strokes and videos of Hendriks and company hard at work. Oh, and yes, “Bedroom in Arles” is on Twitter too.
To get an inside view of Van Gogh’s life, order our “Art + Travel Europe: Step into the Lives of Five Famous Painters”. To follow the progress of “Bedroom in Arles” go to www.vangoghmuseum.com/bedroomsecrets. To visit other works already restored by the same curatorial staff visit
The Van Gogh Museum
7 Paulus Potterstraat
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top—Conservator Ella Hendriks studies “Bedroom in Arles” under an x-ray machine.
Middle—”Bedroom in Arles”, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Bottom (clockwise from upper left):A micrograph slide of “Bedroom”, an x-ray of “Bedroom”, “Bedroom” under a microscope, “Bedroom” removed from its frame at the Van Gogh Museum’s curatorial department.
All images courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum.