Airbnb and Institute Offer Van Gogh Bedrooms

CHICAGO.- Vincent van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom in Arles is arguably the most famous chambre in the history of art.

So important was this composition that Van Gogh made three distinct versions and considered it his finest painting. Now, for the first time in North America, all three versions of the painting are together in an exhibition titled Van Gogh’s Bedrooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network can even sleep in a specially-designed Vsn Gogh bedroom.

The Art Institute's exhibition is the first ever dedicated to the Bedroom paintings, presenting an in-depth study of documentary, scientific, and physical evidence pertaining to all three versions. Beginning with Van Gogh’s early canvases of cottages and birds’ nests, the show explores the artist’s use of the motif of home as a haven, creative chamber, and physical reality.

Enhancing the exploration of the artist’s artworks and his longing for a place of his own are several engaging interactive technologies designed in partnership with Bluecadet. A digitally enhanced reconstruction of his bedroom allows visitors the chance to experience the physical reality of the space that so inspired him, while other enriching digital components bring to light significant recent scientific research on the three Bedroom paintings.

An illustrated exhibition catalog with a lead essay from Gloria Groom, Chair of European Painting and Sculpture and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, will be published by the Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with Yale University Press.

To further promote the new exhibit, the Art Institute of Chicago took this speculation one step further. The museum created a room to look like Van Gogh's immortalized chamber, which he painted three times in 1888 and 1889. And then, the museum made it available to rent on Airbnb.

"I'm charging $10 for no other reason than that I need to buy paint," the would-be host says in the space's profile. "However, I will be happy to provide you with tickets to my exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago."

The accommodations, listed as a whole apartment for two people in Chicago's River North neighborhood, look a bit uncomfortable — is there running water or would renters have to use that pitcher? Were there bed bugs in 19th-century France? But demand is high.

According to the Institute's Instagram, more available dates will be announced via social media soon. The museum exhibit runs through May 10.

Photo above: Vincent van Gogh. The Bedroom, 1889. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, sold to national museums under the Treaty of Peace with Japan, 1959.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video explores the Van Gogh 'bedroom' exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute.