Van Gogh Immersive Experience opens at Graceland | Lifestyle

Fans of world renowned artist Vincent van Gogh will get to experience his magnificent artwork like never before in “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” a new traveling exhibit opening this week at the Graceland Exhibition Center.

Using cutting-edge projection technology, van Gogh’s work has been freed from their frames and brought to life like never before in a three-dimension experience that puts visitors inside the artwork of one of the most influential artists the world has ever known.

Angie Marchese, vice president of Archives and Exhibits at Graceland, said “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibit ranks among the best exhibits they have ever brought to Graceland. The exhibit has been on tour in many major U.S. cities and has sold more than 2.5 million tickets.

“We were so excited when we got the first phone call asking us if we would be interested in hosting this exhibition,” Marchese said. “Van Gogh was one of those artists whose work wasn’t appreciated until after he was gone. Today, his artwork is iconic. And in the van Gogh exhibit, you are going to literally be part of his artwork. I think people are going to be blown away by it. It is such a great pairing with Elvis and van Gogh to put these two icons together.” 

Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who created over 2,100 pieces of art but sold only one piece during his lifetime. It was only after his death that he became recognized as one of the most influential figures in art history of all time.

His artwork is characterized by bold colors and expressive brushwork which he developed during his stay in Arles in the south of France.

The exhibit was developed by French-Canadian Director Mathieu St-Arnaud at Montreal’s Normal Studios and uses over four trillion pixels which are projected onto the walls in a specially designed space in a unique multi-media experience. The exhibit invites visitors to immerse themselves and take a 360-degree look at over 300 of van Gogh’s work in a new twist. 

Visitors enter through the Introduction Hall which features panels of biographical information, snippets of letters from van Gogh to his brother Theo, and explanations about his art work.

The next room is the Waterfall Room, an area filled with splashes and dots of color flowing down the walls that form into one of his self portraits.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Immersive Experience Room where visitors move along walls projected with light, color and swirls and become a part of the paintings. The walls come thrillingly to life appearing and disappearing, transforming into some of van Gogh’s most famous pieces including “Starry Night,” “Terrace of a cafe at night,” “Sunflowers,” “Bedroom in Arles,” “Almond Blossoms,” and “The Harvest.”

Marchese said while being able to appreciate van Gogh’s artwork hanging in a museum is special on its own, being able to actually go inside his artwork and become fully immersed in it and become almost a part of the art is a whole other level.

“It starts coming to life on the screens,” Marchese said. “You watch the brush strokes as they transform into one of his landscapes or self portraits or still lifes, and see the clouds float by and birds flying and windmills blowing,” Marchese said. “The technology blows you away. It’s indescribable how it feels to be immersed in his world.”

Marchese said she came away with a whole new appreciation for van Gogh and what he was trying to say in his art.

“I learned so much about van Gogh,” Marchese said. “Before, I was moderately interested in van Gogh. I could name a few pieces of his artwork. But when I walked through it and it starts coming to life, you’re literally surrounded. Some people only know the surface information about him, but actually being able to be immersed in his artwork, hear his thoughts, and explore the artwork really gives you a different perspective. It absolutely lives up to the hype. It does not let you down.”

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience opens on March 28 and runs through June 5 at the Graceland Exhibition Center, 3717 Elvis Presley Blvd. in Memphis. Tickets are $36.99 for adults and $21.99 for children and are available at For more information visit








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