Experience the captivating work of Vincent van Gogh brought to three-dimensional life through vibrant blooms, majestic trees and hand-crafted props as recreations of his legendary paintings take center stage at Phipps this summer.
The work of one of the world's most celebrated and influential visual artists enters an exciting, immersive dimension in Phipps' breathtaking new show, Van Gogh in Bloom. Inspired by painter Vincent van Gogh — whose dramatic landscapes and still-life paintings defined an artistic era and forged a new visual language to connect with the natural world — Phipps’ horticulture team has masterfully transformed the historic glasshouse with breathtaking reimaginings of the post-impressionist's acclaimed works, including “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” and “Wheat Field with Cypresses.”
Vivid botanical vignettes place you directly into each stunning scene as Van Gogh first captured it, surrounded by colorful blooms, trees, grasses and summertime splendor. Awe-inspiring by daylight, as well as Friday nights when architectural lighting reveals a unique interplay of light and shadow, Van Gogh in Bloom is a spectacular, moving combination of art and nature. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind experience that only Phipps can provide!
In Van Gogh in Bloom, guests will:
- View Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat” masterfully recreated with hundreds of flowers in a giant vertical mural.
- Be surrounded by "Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun" complete with live trees, orange crossandra and New Guinea impatiens, blue browallia and a topiary sun.
- Stroll through the lush and textured "Wheat Field with Cypresses" on a winding path that leads to the dark and dreamy "Starry Night."
- Visit the profoundly beautiful "Houses at Auvers" amid a landscape of oak and cypress, vining mandevilla and blue and red summer blooms.
- See Phipps creatively capture the blooms of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” series with bright yellow zinnias, dahlias and aeonium.
- Gaze into "The Red Vineyards Near Arles" with vineyard trellises, topiary figurines and beds of warm red, orange and yellow blooms.
- Let your imagination come alive with “Starry Night Over the Rhône” with twinkling lights and reflections on the Victoria Room pond.
- Stop into “The Night Café” through a vivid botanical rendering complete with planted pool tables, a rich carpet of yellow blooms and overhead plantings.
- Plus, enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Phipps, inspired by the vivid colors and blooms Van Gogh was fond of, along with more art-inspired surprises throughout the Conservatory.
Awe-inspiring by daylight, as well as on Friday nights when Phipps is open until 10pm with custom architectural lighting that reveals a unique interplay of light and shadow, Van Gogh in Bloom is a masterful, moving exhibition all ages will enjoy. Plan multiple visits to enjoy this showcase of nature’s greatest beauty seen through the eyes of one of the world’s greatest artists.
NEW! Growing with Van Gogh
Delve deeper into the Van Gogh in Bloom exhibit by exploring the Growing with Van Gogh education series. All classes in the series are marked in our Adult Education pages with this icon and provide a new perspective on Van Gogh, as well as ways to bring his iconic style into your home and garden!
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
– Vincent van Gogh
Ten Lesser-Known Facts about Vincent Van Gogh
- Van Gogh began painting at the age of 27. In his short, ten-year artistic career, he produced approximately 900 paintings.
- Though most native English speakers pronounce Van Gogh’s last name van-GOH (-oh as in no), the native Dutch pronunciation is much closer to vun KHOKH (-v as in vet, -u as in bun, and -kh as in Scottish loch).
- Van Gogh was a voracious reader, and in letters to his family and friends he would often quote some of his favorite authors including Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.
- A skilled linguist from a young age, Van Gogh spoke three languages fluently — French, English and his native Dutch. He learned English and French during the seven years he worked as an art dealer for Goupil & Cie.
- Without a stable income, Van Gogh often didn’t have the money to pay for models to pose for portraits, which is why he painted many self-portraits throughout his career. Van Gogh would also reuse canvases to save money, and many of these painted-over works have since been revealed via x-rays.
- Some of Van Gogh’s most famous works were painted while he was a patient at the St-Paul asylum in St-Rémy-de-Provence in the south of France. Van Gogh had himself voluntarily committed to the facility, and here he painted "The Starry Night" among others.
- The first and only of Van Gogh’s paintings sold during his lifetime, "The Red Vineyards near Arles," went for 400 Francs (equal to about $2,000 today) to Impressionist painter Anna Boch in 1890. A hundred years later in 1990, Van Gogh’s "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for $82.5 million ($158.2 million today) at auction, making it the world’s most expensive painting ever sold at the time.
- Van Gogh is buried alongside his younger brother Theo in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, the Paris suburb where he died in 1890. According to Theo, his dying words were, “This sadness will last forever.”
- Van Gogh’s sister-in-law, Jo van Gogh-Bonger, widow of his younger brother Theo, played an instrumental role in ensuring Van Gogh’s legacy lives on. She made it her life’s work to promote Van Gogh’s artwork by loaning it to various exhibitions, as well as publishing a collection of letters exchanged between Vincent and Theo, to share his life’s story and artistry with the world. After her death, her son Vincent Willem van Gogh (named after his uncle) went on to found the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands.
- Van Gogh’s life and works have become an inspiration for countless artists, musicians and filmmakers over the past nearly 130 years. Some of the most famous of these works are singer-songwriter Don McLean’s 1971 hit song “Vincent,” and the 2017 film Loving Vincent, animated in the style of Van Gogh’s artwork.
Van Gogh in Bloom, designed by Associate Director of Exhibits Jordyn Melino, opens Sat., May 11 and shows throughout the summer at Phipps. Hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and students, and $11.95 for children (2 – 18). Members and kids under 2 enter free.
Buy Tickets Online
For your convenience, you may now buy your Phipps tickets online in advance of your visit.
Select photos © Paul g. Wiegman
More Events You’ll Enjoy
Open NowIn this series, local photographer and Phipps volunteer Paul g. Wiegman highlights the essence of the plants that Vincent van Gogh was inspired to paint.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Plus Additional Days As AvailableJoin us for one of our weekly scheduled Discovery Programs to engage our youngest visitors with the wonders of the natural world. All programs are free with admission and require no advance registration.
Open NowIn the Center for Sustainable Landscapes Green Gallery, view fun "wanted poster"-style artworks about some of Western Pennsylvania's best known invasive species as created by middle school students involved in Phipps’ Fairchild Challenge.