A digital stroll through Van Gogh’s most famous works

THE LUME Indianapolis features a dimly lit entrance, which covers the whole of the fourth floor of Newfields. Photo by Julian Cirnigliaro.

Julian Cirnigliaro | Photography Editor | jcirnigl@butler.edu

Described as a “multi-sensory experience” and covering a mind-bending 30,000 square feet, Newfields’ THE LUME is the largest continuous exhibition in the 138-year history of the museum.

Created by Australian-based Grande Experiences , THE LUME features an hour of interactive digital content, with 40 minutes dedicated to works by Van Gogh. The remaining 20 minutes are allotted to up-and-coming digital artists inspired by the late painter. The experience is created through the use of 150 state-of-the-art digital projectors.

About half way through THE LUME, visitors will encounter a café featuring pastries and drinks themed after Van Gogh’s artwork. Among the items available are fruit mimicking cakes, as well as suckers themed after “Starry Night.” 

Josh Ratliff, director of culinary arts at Newfields, said the goal of the café is to highlight the “French themes present in Van Gogh’s work.”


Cakes available at THE LUME café are made to look like apples, pears, pineapples and oranges. Priced $12. Photo by Julian Cirnigliaro.


While taking selfies in the projector rooms may prove difficult because of the low light, towards the end of the exhibit one can find the Activity Space, where selfie machines with Van Gogh filters are available. There is also an interactive artwork viewer, where waving a hand controls the painting being shown on the wall. 

After the digital artwork, visitors will come face-to-face with the real deal: Newfields’ own Van Gogh painting. Take some time to enjoy art the old fashioned way, by staring at it while sitting on a bench in the middle of the room.

A more comfortable seating arrangement is also available via a surreal recreation of Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles.” Visitors can stand in the 3D recreation of the painting, lay on the bed and sit in the chairs. It’s a set-piece, so touch-away!


The 3D recreation of “Bedroom in Arles” is the last interactive piece before the gift shop. Photo by Julian Cirnigliaro.


Visitors to Newfields will also find an abundance of sunflowers in the gardens. Van Gogh is famous for his large canvas depictions of the yellow flowers, many of which were painted in Arles towards the end of his life.

THE LUME officially opens July 27 and will run until May of 2022. General admission to Newfields does not include admission to THE LUME, but THE LUME admission does include admission to the rest of the building. Butler students receive free general admission to Newfields by applying at the front desk with their ID.


The LUME features wall projections of Van Gogh’s famous works. Photos by Julian Cirnigliaro.


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