It is an unusual move from microchip machine manufacturer, ASML. The Veldhoven mega-company is going to invest money in the cultural heritage of Vincent van Gogh.
Over the next five years, ASML will collaborate with Van Gogh Brabant in Nuenen and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. ASML CEO, Peter Wennink, says the following about this remarkable choice, “Vincent van Gogh was from Brabant and was a rebel and an innovator. Light inspired him, and it is central to his work, just like it is at ASML”.
In 1885, Vincent van Gogh painted his first masterpiece, ‘The potato eaters’, in Nuenen. It was the result of the artist’s intensive search for perspective and light. By linking Van Gogh’s cultural legacy to the innovative Brainport region, ASML hopes the region’s appeal will further increase. Thus, the business world meets the world of art. Frank van der Eijnden, Director of Van Gogh Brabant, says, “It is fantastic that ASML is taking this step.”
ASML will support the museum in Nuenen with a new arrival, Vincent’s Lightlab. There you can experiment with light yourself. Van der Eijnden: “We will show how Vincent worked with light and how light still influences art to this day”.
Light is also an ASML speciality. “We make large chip manufacturing machines, and those machines make use of light. We produce light. Vincent’s Lightlab is an experiential space. Everyone can experience how light influences how you view a work of art,” says Wennink. Vincent’s Lightlab will open in two years.
The tech company will also assist the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with research on how to better preserve Van Gogh’s paintings. The company will donate money for this over the next five years and will supply a team of researchers. Wennink comments that, “Paintings hang in a room where there is light, and that light influences the painting. It is not always positive, as colours can fade. It is important to investigate to what extent this happens and what you can do about it.”
Help counteract discolouring
Adriaan Dönszelmann, Business Director of the Van Gogh Museum, says “ASML is a technology company with a great deal of knowledge in the field of light, the effects of light and it’s chemical effects. They can help us with this. We can now measure how much the paintings discolour and, hopefully, we will find out how we can effectively counteract that.”
“This partnership allows us to help connect, preserve, and use Van Gogh’s heritage in Amsterdam and Brabant and to share our knowledge with a wider audience,” says Wennink.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translator: Nicole Cullinan
Editor: Melinda Walraven