Newfields art museum opens Van Gogh exhibit


Newfields, an art museum and one of Indianapolis’s most famous attractions, is now showing an immersive Van Gogh exhibit.

The exhibit, known as “The Lume,” features some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, including Sunflowers and The Starry Night, in rooms covered floor-to ceiling with moving, projected images. To enter, it cost $25, and this includes general admission to Newfields. General admission is typically $17, so I thought that the price was fairly reasonable.

The first painting I saw was Sunflowers. The film plays on a 60-minute loop, but it is not designed to be watched like a movie. Instead, it is designed for the viewer to wander around and see the art from different angles. While I thought the concept was cool and the artwork was beautiful, the novelty of it eventually wore off. Because the artwork is so well-known, it takes a lot to make the experience notable. The best room was by far Starry Night, as the moving images worked best with the painting itself. Even though the rooms were stunning, it was not something to spend large amounts of time in and was mostly a novelty act.

By far the best part of the experience was the exhibits that came directly after the main portion. This contained some of Van Gogh’s less famous paintings and facts about his life. My favorite part was a recreation of The Bedroom in Arles. The atmosphere translated very well to a real-life recreation of the art. The Lume remains open until May 22, and I would only recommend visiting to someone interested in Van Gogh or art history in general.

After the Van Gogh exhibit, there are still three floors of Newfields to explore. The most interesting rooms were the ones based around other cultures, as they have exhibits dedicated to art history in different countries. The best ones were the African and European art history exhibits. My favorite piece in the museum was a 1992 dress designed by John Paul Gaultier, which was a part of the American fashion exhibit.The most interesting room was the room of art and design. It contained furniture created by designers around the world, and they are all extremely intricate and impressive designs. There were also stations for patrons to design their own furniture, which would be a good activity for kids.

One of the best features of Newfields is its downtown location. It is in the heart of Indianapolis and has direct access to many other downtown attractions. I would recommend to anyone visiting Newfields to visit The Garage afterwards, a small collection of shops and eateries. Overall, I would absolutely recommend making time for a visit to Newfields, but I would save the $8 and skip The Lume. The museum itself is beautiful, but the traveling exhibit had a lot of untapped potential and is ultimately underwhelming.