Saturday, March 30, 2019

Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Head of a Woman April 1885
Head of a Woman Wearing a White Cap Nov '84-May '85
Head of a Woman Nov '4-May '85
The Diggers (after Jean-Francois Millet) Oct 1880
NOT Van Gogh The Diggers (Les Becheus) by Jean-Francois Millet 
Reproductions of his sketchbooks since they're too fragile to travel
Daughter of Jacob Meyer (after Barque after Holbein) Oct '81-April '81

Reaper July August '85

Note the signature
NOT VAN GOGH Landscape with Cattle by Anton Mauve 1860's-1870's
Peasant Woman Cleaning a Pot July August '85
Digger September 1881
Old Man in a Tailcoat September December 1882
More sketchbook reproductions 

Head of a Fisherman with a Fringe of Beard and Sou'wester January '83
Old Church Tower at Neunen May June '85
Still Life with Straw Hat December 1881
Cottage June 1885
Windmills near Dordrecht September 1881
Marsh with Water Lilies June 1881
Portrait of a Prostitute Dec 1885
Look at the earring...
Impasse des deux Frerers February April 1887
Hill of Montmartre April May 1886
Hill of Montmartre 1886
More sketchbook reproductions 

Head of a Man (possibly Theo) Jan-April 1887
Vincent Van Gogh Self Portrait March June 1887

In the Cafe: Agostina Segatori in le Tambourin Jan-March 1887

The Restaurant de la Sirene at Asnieres 1887
Trees and Undergrowth July 1887
Roses and Peonies June 1886
Note the signature. He began to sign, "Vincent" because he thought the Van Gogh was too difficult for most to pronounce correctly.

Vase with Gladioli and Chinese Asters August September 1886
Weeping Tree May 1889
A Pair of Leather Clogs Autumn 1889
Tree Trunks with Ivy July 1889

The Garden of the Asylum at Saint Remy May 1889

Entrance to a Quarry July 1889

Field with Sower March-April 1890
Olive Grove with Two Pickers December 1889

The Sheaf Binder (after Millet) September 1889
The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix) May 1890
It's quite likely that Van Gogh never saw the Delacroix painting in color. 
Peasant Woman Binding Sheaves (after Millet) September 1889
Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum September 1888

Fieldwith Poppies May 1888
This gem of a painting is small. I was a bit obsessed with the blue on the horizon. 

Les Rochers July 1888

The Green Vineyard October 1888
The photos do not do the texture justice at all.

View of Saintes-Maries-de-La-Mer June 1888

Ploughed Fields (The Furrows) September 1888
Basket of Lemons and Bottle May 1888
Langlois Bridge at Arles May 1888

Still Life with a Plate of Onions January 1889
Old Woman of Arles February 1888
Tarascon Stagecoach Octover 1888
Portrait of a Man (Joseph-Michel Ginoux December 1888
Portrait of Joseph Roulin July 31-August 3, 1888
Portrait of Doctor Gachet (L'Homme a le Pipe) etching May 25, 1890
Farmhouse May June 1890
This painting... I could spend the rest of my life staring at it... it is my favorite from this exhibit

Blooming Chestnut Trees May 1890
Ears of Wheat June 1890
I love what the curator did. Look at Women Crossing the Field, Ears of What and Portrait of a Peasant Girl in a Straw Hat. All three were hung side by side. What do you see?

Portrait of a Peasant Girl in a Straw Hat June 1890
Someone commented that they didn't like how her face was, "carved." To me, the carved paint was captivating. It pulled you into the painting.

More sketchbook reproductions 
Irises May 1890
The yellow gold... 

Vincent Van Gogh was born 166 years ago today. There have been many after him but I know that many will agree when I say that, to me, he is the greatest artist the world has ever experienced. How lucky we are to have his paintings and letters.

On March 19th and 21st, my mother and I went to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to see Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art

I had been plotting, I mean, planning a trip to see the exhibit since it was first announced. Come hell or high water, I was not going to miss this incredible opportunity. 

16 drawings.
1 etching. 
Two paintings by Millet and Mauve.
40 Van Gogh paintings.

All in one place at one time. A 25 hour drive from Los Angeles. Approximately 3,100 miles (round trip) from my home. Call me what you want, but this exhibit has been calling my name since it was first announced. 

Mom and I arrived when the museum first opened. We were within the first ten let inside. Before it became too crowded, I ran around taking photos. I like to document what I see at each museum. 

The crowd slowly walked through the first room that contains reproductions of some of his most famous paintings. I bypassed them all. 

There are five rooms. The first room had the reproductions along with wallpaper of his letters. Massive Van Gogh script filled the room. Each room contains reproductions of his sketchbooks. The second and third rooms contain his early work. It is fascinating to see his progression. I said on Instagram, don't ever tell me you can't draw. 

The fourth room, you see his style come beaming through. The small sketch of Marsh with Water Lilies in the previous room hints at it.

When I walked into the fifth room, I had to hold back tears. It was overwhelming (in a good way) to see the evolution of an artist. I've experienced my own journey but to see it so clearly in one area by one artist was powerful. I can't stop thinking about it. I will let the art above speak for itself.

With the exception of a visit to the interactive room, the cafe, gift shops and bathroom, we spent all day Tuesday at the exhibit. Mom said by the time we left, she had the layout memorized. We loved it so much, we went back Thursday night. I expected a massive crowd, but it was actually quieter than Tuesday morning!

I loved hearing voices from all corners of the Earth talk about the artist and his work.

If you are anywhere near Houston, get to this exhibit. I promise you, it will change your life.

I know that this is just a tiny taste of what is to come for me in my upcoming European adventure. I am counting down the days...

Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in art at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts through June 27, 2019.

Thank you again to everyone who made this possible:

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

The Stamp Shack in Friendswood, TX for bringing me in to teach. 
To those who signed up for my workshops there. 
To those who helped spread the word about the workshops especially Cori Austin and Beckah Krahula. Your friendship and kindness warms my heart and I am forever in gratitude.

To my husband for always being supportive of my love for road trips, art museums and a certain redheaded artist.

To my Mom, without whom I wouldn't have been able to do it. Always in love and gratitude...

Here are just some of my blog posts about visiting museums across the U.S. in search of Van Gogh: