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Van Gogh pop-up exhibit to debut at KOP Mall

August 13, 2018

Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni

The King of Prussia Mall is hosting a traveling pop-up exhibition of reproductions of nine of Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces.

King of Prussia Mall is the first stop of the exhibition that will tour the country at several malls owned by Simon Property Group and Taubman Centers. King of Prussia Mall is owned by Simon Property (NYSE:SPG).

The artwork, which represents different moments in the artist’s life, will open Aug. 16 and will be on display until Oct. 14. The replicas are interactive in that visitors can not only see Van Gogh’s paintbrush strokes but touch them as well.

While the museum’s goal of the pop-up exhibit is to make the artwork, housed at its Amsterdam home, more accessible to a wider audience, mall owners view this as a way to generate more foot traffic and publicity, and in turn a boost in sales, at its properties.

Retail centers are increasingly turning to new and non-traditional ways to keep their properties relevant amid changing shopping habits and challenges from Amazon and other online retailers.

“From a marketing perspective, we continue to do and seek out unique and innovative experiences,” said Kathy Smith, marketing director at the mall. “Customers simply aren’t interested in spending a day at the mall at the store they like but want to have that broader experience. There is a strategy to maintain an environment throughout the year that customers can create the experience they want. We have to maintain an emotional connection with the community. This is a unique event. It’s a true pop-up museum.”

Other Greater Philadelphia malls are also attempting to draw more customers by diversifying their offerings beyond traditional retail spaces. Plymouth Meeting Mall, which recently added three new tenants, boasts a Legoland Discovery Center. As part of the redevelopment of the former Gallery in downtown Philadelphia, a movie theater has been secured, as well as the region’s first City Winery, which draws musical acts.

The KoP pop-up exhibit is also one way mall owners are trying to find more productive uses with the common areas in their properties.

The museum has a two-month lease with Simon on the event space in front of the Lord & Taylor department store where it will set up. The exhibit space will attempt to resemble a museum with quality lighting and different rooms for the paintings.