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74 Van Gogh works from across globe are in U.S.

"Bedroom in Arles", painted by Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, is put on display. Associated Press file photo

DETROIT — How do you bring together 74 Vincent van Gogh works worth millions of dollars from museums, foundations and private collections all over the world for one massive exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts? Carefully. Very carefully.

As the highly anticipated "Van Gogh in America" exhibit opened to the public on Sunday, all 74 works were in place for visitors to admire in all their beauty.

To get them there, each museum or collection sent its own "courier" to personally escort the work; they also will leave with a courier. Works were sent from roughly 60 locations all over the globe.

The couriers "watch it (the painting) being installed and then they'll come back to watch us de-install it," said Jill Shaw, exhibit curator. "They travel with them."

"Van Gogh in America," which explores how Van Gogh's work was received in the United States.

Several of the works featured in the exhibit also come from museums closer to home, such as "The Bedroom," lent from the Art Institute of Chicago. Some are from private collectors, such as "Harvest in Provence," which Van Gogh painted in 1888, inspired by the landscape and colors of Arles, France.

Van Gogh painted his "Sunflowers" series in the south of France in 1888 and 1889. Associated Press

The largest number of works for the exhibit, approximately 20, came from Vincent van Gogh Foundation, which was established by Van Gogh's nephew, Vincent Willem van Gogh. After his mother, Jo, died, Van Gogh established a foundation with his uncle's work and also the Van Gogh Museum in the 1960s.

"The museum exhibits the works that are owned by the foundation," said Shaw.

Seeing so many Van Gogh paintings in one spot, even the couriers were impressed, said Shaw. The exhibit is considered one of the largest exhibitions of Van Gogh's work in the 21st century.

Van Gogh's story "is an incredible story," said Shaw.

“Van Gogh in American” runs through Jan. 22 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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