The art of Bob Ross in Museum More

I always love visiting museums. I like art, especially paintings that I can stare at for hours and seeing new things everytime I look. When I stumbled upon a Bob Ross exhibition in a museum not far from where I live, the tickets were quickly bought. But of course it got postponed again and again because of covid, until earlier this month when the museum finally (finally!) opened up again.

The exhibition was held at Museum MORE, which stands for Modern Realism. The museum is located in Gorssel, a small town in the eastern part of the Netherlands, close to Deventer and Apeldoorn. I had never heard of it, and usually I’m not a big fan of modern realism, but I do like Bob Ross so we went, even though we hadn’t even checked out what the rest of the museum was about.

I think everyone knows the iconic painter Bob Ross, for his big hair, his happy painting or his tv-show The Joy of Painting where the artist completed a beautiful painting in just 30 minutes. It’s astonishing, really. I must admit I’ve only heard about him in recent years. Even though his show was airing from 1983 and Ross died in 1995, I only heard about him a couple of years ago. He was such a happy man and he truly believed everyone could be a painter. People call him The king of chill.

The museum showed 40 of his paintings, among them the first and last he did for the television show. They were all really beautiful. It’s crazy that he could do this in 30 minutes. They’re not just painting of mountains and trees, there is so much detail in each painting, and all the details tell stories.

“Ever make mistakes in life? Let’s make them birds. Yeah, they’re birds now”

Bob ross

The exhibition was inspiring. Not only because the paintings were beautiful, but also because of Ross’ character. He didn’t believe in mistakes, but he did believe in happy clouds and happy trees. His quotes and his life are an inspiration too. The exhibition was very informative, and I liked that. It wasn’t just looking at paintings, but we were given a leaflet with more information about his life and the paintings, each one with a QR code to hear the story behind it. I’m looking forward to watching these videos, and of course his tv-show, which I haven’t seen yet. There as also a documentary projected on the wall that taught us even more about his life, his paintings and his pet: Peapod the pocket squirrel.

You can visit this exhibition in Museum More till september 5th!

Only one room of the museum focused on Bob Ross, there were three others that held the semi-permanent collection. These interested me less. There were artworks from Jan Mankes, Raoul Hynckes, Dick Ket, Pyck Koch and some other names I do not recognize. These were more traditional realism, and though it’s impressive to see how one painter can capture something so brilliantly that it looks more like a photograph than a painting, it doesn’t really speak to me.

One artwork that I thought was interesting, however, is the one you see on this picture. His unexpected return by Tobias Schalken. A girl sleeping on a table. It looked so realistic and it really scared me, somehow. I had to wait and see what happened if other people came close before I could convince myself to take a closer look. I was absolutely convinced this was not an artpiece, but a real girl sleeping. But it wasn’t. It was just really, really lifelike.

My apologies if this photo offends anyone, I must admit I’m not 100% comfortable posting this, but it’s the only picture of this exhibition I took….

The other rooms in the museum focused on an artist named Konrad Klapheck and his show Venus In Machina. The paintings were intriguing but quite vulgar if you ask me. It’s post-war German, one-of-a-kind, machines-like-human-beings art. I don’t really like it though I must admit that the paintings do tell stories. I’m just not sure if I want to know these stories. It’s just not my thing.

This exhibition can be seen till september 26th.

The Bob Ross exhibition was really good and informative and I would definitely recommend seeing it before the exhibition is over, if you have the opportunity. The rest of the museum wasn’t all that interesting to me (except the girl on the table) but that’s okay, because I only really came for the happy paintings and they truly did not disappoint!

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