Inspried by E.J. Marey's 1885 graphical train schedule, this visualization shows the path traveled by a select painting from its creation until 2017. Every location visited by at least one painting in this collection is represented by a horizontal line, arranged from East (top) to West (bottom). Each painting has a separate path with these shared axes - use the menu on the righthand side to change paintings. A painting's path will travel to a new location in a year when a new owner acquires that piece or when it goes on exhibition - after its last known exhibition, it will return to the Met.
This map follows the full history of movement of each of The Met's Van Gogh paintings. A new location will be added to each painting's journey when it is acquired by a new owner, or when it goes on exhibition - after its last known exhibition, it will return to the Met. Animate a painting's joruney across the world with the play/pause button on the year axis. The timeline view will update according to the specific year we're vieweing from the map - flip back and forth between these views for more detail on why a painting moved where it did in a specific year.
This example painting had three individual owners and went on two exhibitions across three distinct locations in the time span shown.
Exhibition 1 (Exhib Location)
When we visit a renowned piece of art in a museum's galleries, we may not always consider the path it traveled before arriving at this destination. Prominent artwork can be bought, sold, traded, and put on display across the far reaches of our world - or it can be hidden away in a private collection or in storage. Studying this history of movement can help us understand how the world has interacted with a specific piece of art, giving us clues to its cultural impact and influence on regions, eras, and movements in the broader artistic context.
Vincent Van Gogh created hundreds of paintings in his troubled life, and although he would not enjoy the success of his work during his lifetime, his work has been profoundly influential in Western art. The Met has 18 of his masterpiece landscapes, portraits, and still lifes in their collection. In The Migration of Art, we explore how these paintings traversed the globe, unearthing each nook and cranny of its travels through ownership changes and exhibitions. Inspired by E.J. Marey's 1885 graphical train schedule, our timeline visualization shows a detailed history of each studied Van Gogh painting's movement from inception to current day. These paths, which approximate the real movement of each painting across the globe, change location when a painting changes hands or when it goes on exhibition. After the last exhibition on record, each painting returns to the Met. Hover over a specific year within this view to see detailed information on the owners and exhibitions during that year in a the painting's journey, or watch this painting's movement in real time on a world map. Now go get exploring!