As springtime blooms in North America, conventions and festivals (especially outdoor festivals) start to appear in the calendar. Travel is certainly a consideration when planning what events to attend, as is finding a place to stay when you arrive. Many attendees plan to stay at the hotel associated with the convention centers, but there are more whimsical (and less expensive choices) available if one takes the initiative to search. One such inexpensive accommodation is available in downtown Chicago: Vincent Van Gogh’s Bedroom.
Van Gogh painted three versions of his bedroom after moving into his “Yellow House” in Arles, France. After water damage threatened the stability of the original 1888 painting, Van Gogh created a second version in 1889 while at an asylum in Saint-Remy. At this time he also painted a smaller copy for his mother and sister.
Sleep in Van Gogh’s Bedroom
The Art Institute of Chicago offers a special lodging for up to two guests a night. Through arrangements made at the AirBnB site travelers can stay in a replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom. It rents for $10 a night and, unlike the original, has a modern kitchen and bathroom included in the rental price.
The room has been decorated in the same style as Van Gogh’s 1889 painting, Bedroom in Arles. This AirBnB room was commissioned by the Art Institute to coincide with a special Van Gogh exhibit and the $10 price also comes with tickets to the exhibit.
The Host information on the AirBnB page is rather charming:
My dear guests, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Vincent van Gogh. I was born in Holland but I reside in France. I would like to say I make a living as a painter, but I am afraid that would not be true. Nevertheless, with good support from my brother Theo, painting is what I do.
In fact, if you want to see some of my work, please head over to the Art Institute of Chicago where I have an ongoing exhibition.
I am subletting my beloved bedroom for a limited time. It might be simple, but rest assured, it has everything you need to feel at home. I’m sure you’ll be as happy there as I once was.
Please do not hesitate to contact me. I will gladly assist you with any questions or concerns that you might have.
For the first time in modern history all three paintings are on exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago along with 36 other works by Van Gogh. The fact that this is included in the $10 fee to stay in the room is an added bonus.
There is an adage that states “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that matters.” I also think that part of the journey should be finding interesting places to stay along the way. And if travelers can support the arts, so much the better. As “Vincent” says on the AirBnB page: “I’m charging $10 for no other reason than that I need to buy paint.” Seems like a good deal.