Columbus Museum of Art honors Vincent van Gogh and the artists who inspired him

Vincent van Gogh, The Wheatfield, 1888. Oil on canvas, Honolulu Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Richard A. Cooke and her family in memory of Richard A. Cooke. Credit: Courtesy of the Columbus Museum of Art

The latest exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art shows how one of the world’s most acclaimed artists was inspired by the work of others.

“Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources”, open from Friday to February 6, 2022, presents more than 15 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, as well as more than 100 works of art that have fueled his creativity, according to the website. David Stark, the museum’s chief curator emeritus, said the exhibit encapsulates Van Gogh’s lifelong interest in a wide variety of art, as documented in correspondence between him and his brother, Theo.

“It’s a very good strategy, I think, to help us understand the unique and groundbreaking style of Van Gogh and where he came from,” Stark said.

“Through Vincent’s Eyes” features the art of several popular contemporary Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin, as well as the work of earlier French artists like Eugène Delacroix, Stark said. It also features 19th-century Japanese woodcuts by Hokusai and Hiroshige, which Stark says help illustrate the diverse set of influences present in Van Gogh’s life.

The exhibition also highlights works by 19th-century artists less well-known today, which Nannette Maciejunes, the museum’s executive director and CEO, said she hopes to help viewers discover a new favorite artist.

“I think there will be a number of artists in this exhibit that people will find out that they didn’t know, and then go and find out more on their own,” Maciejunes said.

Van Gogh was inspired not only by 19th-century artists, but also famous authors of the time, Maciejunes said. The exhibition will include the first editions of beloved novels by authors such as Charles Dickens, Guy de Maupassant and Emile Zola, according to the exhibition website.

“It makes sense for people to say, ‘Oh sure, he looked at other artists and he learned from them,’” Maciejunes said. “But realizing that it was also the books he read, the stories, the novels and how those literary experiences inspired and ignited his imagination of what he painted.”

Van Gogh’s art has stood the test of time, which Maciejunes says is due in part to how his art and history have become inseparable.

“I think that merging this narrative with the work has a strong popular appeal to people. He just has that sticky power; people remember it, ”Maciejunes said. “The power of the work itself is incredibly expressive. People feel this kind of emotional connection not only with the artist’s story, but with the work itself. “

“Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources” is not the only Van Gogh art exhibition presented in Columbus this fall. The “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibition, which opened on October 28 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace, uses 500,000 cubic feet of projections to surround visitors with an animated film of Van Gogh’s work, according to the exhibition website. Maciejunes said she believes the two shows are complementary.

“They complement each other and I think, you know, what matters, in my opinion, is somehow connecting to these creative experiences,” Maciejunes said.

The museum aims to provide an experience that connects and impacts its viewers, and Stark said he hopes visitors to the exhibit will leave with a deeper connection with Van Gogh.

“I think people will come away, hopefully, with a lot of new perspectives and having gained more information – visual information – about a time in the world that they may not be very familiar with,” Stark said. . “I hope they will leave moved looking at Van Gogh’s works, thinking about his story, his life and how Van Gogh expressed and represented his world and his life with his art.”

Ticket prices for “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources” vary, and more information can be found on the exhibition. website.

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