REVIEW: Beyond Van Gogh 3D Immersive Experience

The 3D immersive experiences are likely the museums of the future.  One of these presentations that is currently found throughout the US is Beyond Van Gogh.  It combines advanced projection technology, animation, music and public domain artwork to create a 44 minute immersive presentation.   It’s pretty cool.   A similar exhibition showing Monet’s art is similarly priced.  But is it worth almost $50 a pop for the 44 minute show?

Is It Worth It?

One way of answering this question is watching the video below.  It is an almost complete recording of the Van Gogh “experience” offered in San Diego in 2022.  Tickets ran about $45 each (including ticket purchase fees) and parking cost an additional $10.   All in all, you pay close to $55 to see this show:

Given that the art work is in the public domain, the exhibition need only provide the projectors and sound systems.   Given that it costs less than half of that $55 to attend some of the world’s greatest art museums, you are paying a lot for the artistic equivalent of an IMAX movie.   For us, it seems like a steep price relative to similar art viewing options.

Factor in two other things:  1) the exhibitions get crowded and the majority of viewers are currently not wearing masks. 2)  People are bringing noisy or crying young children to the presentation and are prone to talk to one another during the animated presentation.  So this “immersive” experience can often feel like a matinee movie experience.

What are your other options?

If you have a large-screen TV in your home, enhanced by a decent sound system,  you can enjoy 3D immersive art work on YouTube for $55 LESS than what Beyond Van Gogh charges.   For example:

  • You can watch a HiDef exhibition of 805 Van Gogh paintings
  • Catch a Virtual Reality immersive animated video of Van Gogh’s Starry Night
  • Just type “Virtual reality 360 van gogh” into YouTube and you’ll find dozens of similar animations
  • A similar search “Virtual reality 3D 360 artwork” will turn up similar videos featuring Dali, Monet and other famous artworks.
  • Spend that same $55 admission fee to buy a used or low-cost virtual reality headset to experience a TRUE and quiet immersive art viewing experience.

The other option is to wait for the price to come down.   These exhibitions will likely continue to pop-up in cities throughout the U.S.  The early adopters appear to be willing to pay “live concert prices” for this presentation.  We’ll leave it up to you how you best want to spend your money.


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