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#VintageKSDK: Vincent Van Gogh’s works a hit back in 1970, too

But curators at the St. Louis Art Museum were puzzled by the plain wood frames Van Gogh's masterpieces had been set in as they traveled the country.

ST. LOUIS — This week's Vintage KSDK takes us back to January of 1970, when an exhibit of the works of the late Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh was underway at the St. Louis Art Museum.

We found film in the 5 on Your Side archives of the paintings and drawings being installed, and an extensive interview with art museum curators.

“We've hung the exhibition chronologically,” explained a curator at the museum. “So, when one comes into the exhibition you begin with the early works, and you move through the various periods. The last picture you see is the picture that belongs to the museum, which is one of the greatest of all in my opinion."

The show featuring the artist's most famous masterpieces drew record crowds as it traveled the country in 1969 and 1970, and was curated by the artist's nephew.

“These frames are nothing very ornate. Is it planned that way?” asked our KSDK reporter.

“It's planned that way,” explained the curator. “The director of the Van Gogh foundation is the present Vincent Van Gogh, the nephew of the artist, and it is his theory that these paintings look best in the narrow frames of this kind."

St. Louis Art Museum curators said at the time that they would have liked to have seen the works displayed in more elaborate frames, and believed the simpler frames might have been chosen to better preserve the works as they traveled.

Fast-forward to today, and the works of Vincent Van Gogh continue to draw crowds in the St. Louis area.

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, has extended its St. Louis run three times due to high ticket sales.

So far, more than 100,000 local visitors have attended the show.

It now runs through March 30 at the Starry Night Pavilion at the St. Louis Galleria, 1155 Galleria Parkway, St. Louis, MO 63117.

Tickets start at $40 for adults, and $20 for children. Kids under 5 are free.

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