Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you launching the Van Gogh’s Dream campaign in Miami Beach?
The Institut Van Gogh was invited as guest of honour by ARTS FOR A BETTER WORLD during Art Basel Miami Beach, with its Van Gogh’s Dream Pavilion. This is an exclusive opportunity to revisit Vincent van Gogh and to present Van Gogh’s Dream to the world. It is also the perfect international platform for the launch of two complimentary projects: 1) the Van Gogh’s Dream iPad application, and 2) the campaign Invest in a Dream. Our collaboration with ARTS FOR A BETTER WORLD makes it possible to launch these two projects at the same time.

What is the “Invest in a Dream” campaign?
As part of the major Van Gogh’s Dream campaign, Invest in a Dream aims to bring together 10 individuals from all around the world, passionate about art, to participate in a temporary investment company. The purpose of this investment company is to acquire one of the works painted by Van Gogh while he was in Auvers, to be exhibited on the wall of his room – number 5 – at the Auberge Ravoux, and to secure the future development of the Institut Van Gogh and its real estate holdings (i.e. the Auberge Ravoux and its surrounding buildings). The purpose of the company will be not only financial, but also social and cultural: by contributing to the realization of the Dream, these 10 participants will link their names forever with the legacy of Van Gogh.

How much money do you hope to collect with this campaign?
100 million euros are needed to secure Van Gogh’s dream: firstly for the purchase of a painting from Van Gogh’s Auvers period, and then to secure the development of the Institut Van Gogh and its real estate holdings (i.e. the Auberge Ravoux and its surrounding buildings). It’s difficult to foresee the outcome of this campaign, but we do hope to raise enough money for the project as a whole.

What do investors get in return?
First of all, in these troubled financial times, Van Gogh's masterpieces still retain their relative value. Apart from mentioning their names, participants will have the option to be listed in all global promotional and public relations campaigns when Van Gogh’s Dream project is revealed to the world. Their names will be displayed next to the Van Gogh painting and featured in the catalogue pertaining to it. They will also get lots of opportunities to share their passion with family, friends and business partners by means of – amongst others – yearly invitations to Auvers and the reception of keys to Van Gogh’s room.

How will you keep people informed about the progress of the operation?
Private participants will be kept informed on a regular basis of the progress of the operation, and the public will be able to read more about the pursuit of the campaign on the website

Outside the investors, are you also accepting donations?
Of course, we are also looking for philanthropic donations (which are tax-deductible), contributing to the long-term goal of having the Institut Van Gogh eventually buy out its participants, thus gaining full ‘control’ of the painting. In other words, to facilitate a quick response to the art market, we want to start with a group of 10 international participants, who can expect their pro-rata share of the painting to be paid back, at current market prices, as we raise enough money from philanthropic donations.

How will you take care of the money?
The monies from these participants would be in the hands of our banking partner. Funds would be deposited at registered banking and financial institutions, on one or several accounts specifically created for this fund-raising operation. An auditor has been appointed to ensure good and sound management of the funds.

What if you do not raise enough money?
This is how we propose to deal with the funds accumulated from both sources: a) The monies from the participants in the investment fund would be blocked until 2013, i.e. until the purchase of the painting. If there is no painting available, or if not enough money is raised by the agreed deadline date, the monies accumulated in the temporary investment fund would be returned to the participants; b) Concerning philanthropic donations, half of funds collected would be earmarked to the Institut Van Gogh for its future development, while the other half would be donated to a museum closely associated with Vincent van Gogh, i.e. either the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or the Musée Pissarro in Pontoise.

The price of the iPad application is higher than most of the applications.
How do you explain this?

The app’s price (7,99 Euros or 9,99 USD) offers excellent value for money. It contains a total of 163 pages, approximately 90 minutes of video and sound, and many special features. What’s more, we are offering a true Van Gogh experience at far less than the cost of a book.

What is innovative about the iPad application?
The iPad app presents unpublished content that has been built especially for the iPad, thanks to the revolutionary tools created by Adobe (Adobe Digital Publishing solutions). It gives new insights into an artist we thought we knew everything about. The Van Gogh’s Dream app is more than a book and more than a traditional application: it’s a unique Van Gogh experience.

What kind of Auvers painting do you have in mind?
Of the 80 works that Van Gogh painted in Auvers-sur-Oise, about 20 are in private collections. For several reasons, some would fit perfectly in Van Gogh’s room. Currently, three Van Gogh paintings owned by private collectors would be available for purchase. But as we don’t have the funding in place, we won’t publicize those names to avoid price increases. Our prime consideration is therefore to quickly set up a fund (from investment fund participants and philanthropic donors) to allow a rapid response to future availability at the best market price.

Should not a painting of this value be in a museum?
This would definitely be the second-best scenario. Art continues to fetch record prices. Given current budgetary constraints, chances are slim that a public institution could bid for a masterpiece by Van Gogh. However, once an appropriate Van Gogh painting is returned to Van Gogh’s room at the Ravoux Inn, that room would indeed become a museum – the smallest museum in the world! To open up a new museum costs between 500 million and 3 billon euros; whereas under our proposals, the smallest museum in the world could be opened for ‘only’ 100 million euros.

What makes you think you can do it?
If you can dream it, you can do it. Over the past 25 years, moral, material and financial support from private individuals, foundations, museums, the media and the public have allowed us to revive Van Gogh’s last home in Auvers-sur-Oise, and to breathe new life into it – to the public’s great delight. We do believe that many Van Gogh lovers around world will want to join in this initiative to realize the artist’s last dream.

How can you ensure that the painting will be properly preserved, and restored if needed?
The secured high-tech showcase in Van Gogh's room, intended to receive the painting, is up to world-class museum standards. It was designed by architect and engineer Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who had previously designed the showcase for the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The construction itself was carried out by a leading specialized company which carefully set the lighting, humidity and temperature levels for the best preservation of both the room and the painting. Furthermore, the Institut Van Gogh will appoint an experienced curator to guarantee that the painting is kept under the best conditions. Obviously, the smallest museum in the world will devote a great deal of attention to its single treasured work of art.

How about security?
Besides its dedicated fool-proof showcase, the painting will be protected by the best state-of-the-art methods. However, for security reasons, this is not the right forum to elaborate on this sensitive subject!

What would Vincent van Gogh think of this project?
We cannot speak for him, but we do know that “an exhibition of his own in a café” was his last expressed ambition, which we want to fulfil. We also know that he was adamant that art in general, and his art in particular, should be made available to the greatest possible number of people. We strongly believe that our project is consistent with Vincent’s spirit and that it would receive his approval, as well as Theo’s. This idea was underlined in 2007 by Willem van Gogh, former president of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, when he stated “The Van Gogh’s Dream project seems to me an excellent opportunity to return a Van Gogh painting to the public. I feel strongly that the Institut Van Gogh, by exhibiting an Auvers masterpiece in the very room where it once dried, would be the right owner for a Van Gogh painting.”