Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom’ on Loan From the Art Institute of Chicago at The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena
Last Friday, January 6th, David and I went to First Friday (free admission from 5 to 8 p.m.) at The Norton Simon in Pasadena, CA specifically to see Van Gogh's Bedroom exhibit. I had wanted to (somehow click my heels together) and see it in Chicago last summer but that was not meant to be. I am thankful that I was able to see one of the bedrooms in person and that I will be seeing it again before it leaves in early March.
Everyone made a beeline for The Bedroom once the doors were open. I went to the other paintings and stood in front of each Van Gogh several times poking my face as close as I could without getting yelled at by the guards. I walked the exhibit several times over the course of two hours.
At one point, while David was exploring other rooms, I decided to reread one of Vincent's letters that the museum has on display. I burst into tears. David found me sitting on the bench in front of the letter, sobbing my eyes out. I never thought that I would see one of Van Gogh's letters in person. I have so many books of his letters, so many reproductions but to be standing in front of something that was written and signed by him really moved me.
If you are in or near Southern California, I would encourage you to get to the museum before the exhibit closes March 6th. This is the first time one of The Bedrooms has been on the West Coast and who knows when (if ever) it will come back.
"I had a new idea in mind... This time it’s simply my bedroom, but the color has to do the job here, and through its being simplified by giving a grander style to things, to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In short, looking at the painting should rest the mind, or rather, the imagination. The walls are of a pale violet. The floor — is of red tiles. The bedstead and the chairs are fresh butter yellow…"
-16 October 1888. Van Gogh Museum, Vincent van Gogh: The Letters, No. 704
Also in the exhibit were the following works:
The Pitch Pine Room (formerly Denise Natanson and Marcelle Aron in the Summer House at Villerville, Normandy) 1910
I was also mesmerized by Édouard Vuillard's Lucie Hessel 1895-1915 though it was not a part of this exhibit. You can see it here.