Vincent Van Gogh Paintings and Drawings
- Dates: February 14, 1971 through April 4, 1971
- Collections: European Art
January 11, 1971: The Brooklyn Museum is proud to announce the last exhibition in this country of the superb collection of Van Gogh’s works, VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, from February 14 through April 4. At the conclusion of this exhibition, the collection will return to Amsterdam to its permanent home in the special "Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh” presently near completion by the Dutch Government.
Owned by Dr. W. van Gogh, the artist's nephew and namesake, and the Van Gogh Foundation, the works of the famed Dutch artist will be shown concurrently with VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: One Hundred Prints From His Personal Collection, which opens at The Brooklyn Museum on February 1.
Dr. Van Gogh, an 80-year old retired engineer, plans to be in New York early in February and may be on hand for the February 14 opening. Appointments for interviews may be arranged through the museum’s Public Relations office, (NE 8-5000).
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1971, 003. View Original
February 5, 1971: The Brooklyn Museum is proud to announce the final exhibition in this country of the superb collection of Van Gogh’s works, VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, from February 14, 1971 through April 4. At the conclusion of this exhibition, the collection returns to Amsterdam, Holland, to its permanent home in the special 'Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh’ presently near completion by the Dutch Government.
Owned by Dr. Vincent van Gogh, the artist’s nephew and namesake, and the Van Gogh Foundation, VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, is the most comprehensive single collection of work by the famed Dutch painter. It will be shown in conjunction with VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: One Hundred Prints From His Personal Collection which opened at the Museum for its first public showing anywhere on Feb. 1st. Both exhibitions will run concurrently through April 4th.
Too often the tragic story of the life of Vincent van Gogh, embellished into legend, has tended to overshadow the works of art he created. No amount of suffering would have made him a master had he not been possessed of an extraordinary gift which he labored ceaselessly to bring to expression. In the hundreds of letters he wrote to his brother, Théo, van Gogh chronicled these struggles with the same vivid imagery that characterized his painting. He detailed his daily life, his work, his ambitions, his need for love and he embellished them with wonderful sketches of his surroundings and the paintings on which he was working. In return, he received from Théo unfailing understanding and emotional as well as financial support. The letters reveal not only Van Gogh, the idealistic visionary, but the practical Dutchman, carefully husbanding his meager resources, weighing the merits of spending more for better quality paint, or jesting with Th[é]o about ten-metres of canvas he had just purchased, “If...I paint only masterpieces half a metre in size and sell them cash down and at an exorbitant price to distinguished connoisseurs of the Rue de la Paix, nothing will be easier than to make a fortune from this packet!”
In reality, the painter who has been acclaimed as one of the masters of modern art, sold only one painting in his lifetime and that in the last year of his life.
Vincent van Gogh did not discover his true calling as a painter until he was 27. At the age of 16, he was apprenticed to Goupil & Cie at The Hague, conservative art dealers who specialized in reproductions of famous paintings. He did so well that in a few years he was promoted to a position in the London branch. Something happened in London which upset him - perhaps the first of a series of unfortunate love affairs. In any case he was dismissed from Goupil’s, tried his hand unsuccessfully at teaching and at 25, enrolled in a training school for lay preachers in Brussels. He was not a good student but his dedication as a missionary in the Borinage, a mining district in southern Belgium, won him an appointment as a lay preacher at a salary of $10.00 a month. So completely did he surrender himself to his calling, depriving himself of food, clothing, and even the most simple comforts, that the dismayed society dismissed him for ‘excessive zeal.’ But it was in the Borinage that his desire to become an artist crystallized.
He studied at various centers in Holland and Belgium, then spent a year working at his parents’ house in Neunen in Holland. The famous Potato Eaters is from this period when he was working in the dark tones of his Dutch contemporaries. Already in this painting, the finest of a series on this theme, Vincent’s characteristic way of handling paint in firm brush strokes and stark silhouettes becomes evident. He carried over into his art his admiration for the simple and deeply felt faith of the peasants and workers. “Painting peasant life is a serious thing and I should reproach myself if I did not try to make pictures which will arouse serious thoughts.”
The next major step in Van Gogh’s development was the move to Paris where he spent two years with Th[é]o who had followed him into Goupil’s. In Paris, he came to know many Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters such as Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Bernard, and Gauguin. Though he was never formally part of any group, the paintings of this period show how he assimilated the light-filled palette and broken stroke of the Impressionists and began to develop his own theories of the symbolism of color.
After this formative period, he was ready for the decisive move of his life, to Arles in the south of France. Here the northerner, intense and struggling to find his full means of expression, experienced the revelation of the light of the south. For two years he lived and worked in and around Arles, painting the orchards, the fields, the flowers, the local people and simple objects of his own household. The direct colors and visible brush strokes he learned from the Impressionists were developed into a personal, unmistakable style. Similarly in the drawings, he developed an amazing vocabulary of strokes and touches to convey his vision. Such is the vitality of Van Gogh’s touch that it is impossible to look at a painting or drawing of his without feeling something of the intensity with which it was created.
While Van Gogh was in Arles, he suffered his first breakdown, brought on partially by exhaustion and possibly by a quarrel with Gauguin who was visiting him. During this seizure, he cut off part of his ear. He was hospitalized, intermittently at nearby St. Remy. But even here, when he felt well enough, he continued to draw and paint.
Through all this, his one source of encouragement and support was his brother Théo. In 1890, when Théo’s son was born and named for him, Vincent painted a flowering almond branch, shown in this exhibition, as a gift to the child. In the spring of that year, he went to Paris to visit Théo and his family. Still in shaky health, he lodged with Dr. Gachet, a friend of Pissar[r]o and Cézanne’s, at Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris. It was here that in the final year of his life, he created some of his most brilliant works...and it was here that he took his life in July, 1890 at the age of 37. His brother Théo, whose life was so closely linked to his, survived him by only six months. Today, the two brothers lie side by side on a hilltop in Auvers.
Vincent van Gogh had one of the briefest careers in art history. It spanned only ten years but the volume of work he produced is astonishing. More than 800 paintings and almost 900 drawings survive and much more is known to have been lost. It is largely due to Th[é]o’s wife, Johanna, and after her, her son Dr. Vincent W. van Gogh that so much of the great Dutch painter’s work has survived.
Because of the special expenses involved in showing VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, The Brooklyn Museum is forced to charge an admission fee of $1.00 for adults and children over 12; 50¢ for children under 12 (accompanied by an adult), 50¢ for high school, college and art school students with I.D. cards; and 50¢ for museum members. Admission to VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION is free.
A fully illustrated catalogue of the VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS is available for $3.50. Mail orders will be filled for an additional 35¢ for postage and handling. The catalogue for VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION is $1.00.
February 10, 1971: For six Monday evenings during the run of VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS (February 14 to April 4), The Brooklyn Museum will remain open until 9 p.m. The special evening hours are scheduled for February 22, and March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and have been made possible by a grant from The First National City Bank.
The Van Gogh exhibition is in Brooklyn for the final stop in a triumphant nation-wide tour before returning permanently to Amsterdam, Holland. Last month, nearly 400,000 avid art lovers jammed the De Young Museum in San Francisco to view the work of the famed Dutch painter and the Baltimore Museum, where it was shown previously, reported a similarly enthusiastic response.
Also being exhibited concurrently at The Brooklyn Museum is a unique collection of VAN GOGH'S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: 100 Prints From His Personal Collection.
The museum has scheduled a series of free public lectures on Van Gogh presented by members of the staff of the Education Department. They will take place on Thursdays, at 1:15 p.m. in the third floor Lecture Hall.
February 18 VAN GOGH, THE MAN
February 25 LANDSCAPES BY VAN GOGH
March 4 PORTRAIT AND STILL LIFE PAINTINGS BY VAN GOGH
March 11 VAN GOGH’S DRAWINGS AND WATER COLORS
March 18 VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
March 25 VAN GOGH’S SELF-PORTRAITS
March 12, 1971: In view of the extraordinary popularity of VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS which opened at The Brooklyn Museum on Feb. 14, the Museum has extended the closing date of the exhibit through April 11. Originally scheduled to close a week earlier, the collection of 114 paintings and drawings by the famed Dutch artist has been seen by more than 100,000 visitors since its opening. Not included in this figure are the innumerable classes of youngsters from public, private and parochial schools in all five boroughs as well as Nassau and Suffolk who attend without charge.
Owned by Dr. Vincent van Gogh, the artist’s nephew and namesake, and the Van Gogh Foundation, VINCENT VAN GOGH: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, is the most comprehensive single collection of work by the famed Dutch painter. It is being shown in conjunction with VAN GOGH’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: One Hundred Prints From His Personal Collection which opened at the Museum for its first public showing anywhere on Feb. 1. Both exhibitions will run concurrently through April 11. At the conclusion of this exhibition, the exhibit returns to Amsterdam, Holland, to its permanent home in the special 'Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh' presently near completion by the Dutch Government.
Both Van Gogh exhibits will remain open until 9 P.M. on Monday March 15, 22, 29 and April 5. The special Monday night hours have been made possible by a grant from The First National City Bank. On Sundays, the Museum will open an hour earlier and close an hour later, 12 Noon to 6 P.M.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1971, 065 View Original