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Passes to van Gogh Exhibit Limited

October 27, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Starting Monday, the National Gallery of Art will hand out only four instead of six ``same-day″ passes to fans who have been lining up before dawn to see its exhibit of 72 paintings by Vincent van Gogh.

``We want to get as broad a distribution as possible,″ said Patricia O’Connell, a gallery press officer.

Advance passes were exhausted three weeks before the show opened Oct. 4 and are not affected. Some have been sold for $50 or more by agencies and individual scalpers. All were distributed free by the galley, or by an agency that charged a small service fee.

The passes are designated for half-hour intervals throughout the day. By Monday evening, 104,114 people had seen the show, an average of 4,527 a day.

When the gallery opens each day, it distributes 600 passes for the first hour of that day, and another 1,400 for later in that day. Passholders can stay among the paintings as long as the gallery remains open.

No passes are needed to visit the rest of the gallery, which includes four other van Goghs among its hundreds of paintings. Admission is always free.

The show, called ``Van Gogh’s Van Goghs,″ will remain until Jan. 3 and will be seen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art before returning to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam next spring.

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