The thick brushstrokes and swirling colors of a Vincent Van Gogh painting may be instantly recognizable, but the museum responsible for nurturing the Dutchman’s legacy continues to make the artist accessible to global audiences. 

In recent years, the Van Gogh Museum has collaborated on limited-edition products with Vans, Samsonite, and Daily Paper, and toured its multimedia immersive exhibition to Impressionist fans from Seoul to Lisbon. Branding begins at the Amsterdam gift shop where it sells products as colorful and diverse as the artist’s palette: sunflower skateboards, iris teapots and, yes, face masks adorned with almond blossoms. 

Promising speed and sustainability, the partnership will see DHL deliver orders placed on the museum's webstore in but a few business days, while offsetting CO2 emissions via its GoGreen Climate Neutral Program. Image: Jelle Drapper, courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum

Promising speed and sustainability, the partnership will see DHL Express deliver orders in but a few business days, with minimal environmental impact. Image: Jelle Drapper, courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum

The latest partnership with DHL Express, an initial three-year agreement, promises to deliver the full complement of Van Gogh goods to doorsteps worldwide and at breakneck speed — the Netherlands to Mexico in just two days. In keeping with the museum’s sustainability goals, the courier giant has pledged to use zero emission vehicles where possible and offset all CO2 emissions. 

At a moment when alternate income sources are essential to museums starved of onsite ticket revenue, it’s a smart partnership, one that Eline van Beek, Van Gogh Museum’s Press Officer, discusses here. 

How did the partnership with DHL develop?
DHL already delivered orders placed in the online Van Gogh Museum shop. Van Gogh Museum Enterprises (VGME), the museum’s commercial subsidiary developing products and services, proposed intensifying our relationship with DHL. The Development department of the Van Gogh Museum discussed the outlines of a long-term collaboration with DHL Express based on our shared values. 

What does the partnership entail?
It facilitates the delivery of purchases made in the museum webstore to the customer’s home anywhere in the world. We wanted to translate the experience of visiting the Van Gogh Museum into the journey of a package purchased in the museum shop or webstore. Each order is packaged in a print of one of Van Gogh’s masterpieces, enabling anybody to share that experience and a piece of Van Gogh’s legacy.

The offerings at the Van Gogh Museum webstore include customer favorites from sunflower-splashed skate decks to a Van Gogh-themed Monopoly set. Image:

Offerings at the Van Gogh Museum shop include sunflower-splashed skate decks and Van Gogh-themed Monopoly sets. Image:

Could you talk about the sustainability aspect of the partnership?
The sustainable strategy of DHL matches our pursuit of being a sustainable and future-proof museum. We want to take great care for our building, staff, visitors, and collection, preserving the Vincent Van Gogh’s legacy for future generations. DHL compensates the CO2 emissions via its GoGreen Climate Neutral Program. After an order is placed and carefully packaged at the museum’s warehouse, DHL collects it, carries it to a DHL Service Center, and transports it to DHL’s hub at the airport, using zero emissions vehicles like DHL cargo bikes and electric delivery vans where possible.

What should we expect from the museum in 2021?
The museum is always looking for new partners to team up with in light of our mission to inspire a diverse audience with the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. Be on the lookout in 2021 for upcoming collaborations.


Jing Culture & Commerce