Detroit’s exhibit is set to be a revelation | Catch My Job


Van Gogh in America, at the Detroit Institute of Arts (2 October–22 January 2023), is the first show to tell the story of how American art lovers discovered Vincent’s work in the early 20th century. After a slow start, American collectors eventually flocked to buy his paintings, with many of their acquisitions ending up in museums. The exhibition is backed up by meticulous research, in a detailed catalogue.

Van Gogh’s self portrait (August–September 1887), when it arrived in Detroit in 1922 it was the first work by the artist to be acquired by a US museum. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts (City of Detroit Purchase, 22.12)

Including 59 paintings and 15 drawings by Van Gogh, Van Gogh in America Curated by Jill Shaw of Detroit. Visitors will not only have the opportunity to see how Van Gogh conquered the United States, but also enjoy a fully representative sample of his work.

The Detroit exhibit includes some of the artist’s best paintings: Starry Night Over the Rhone (September 1888, Musée d’Orsay, Paris); Van Gogh’s chair (December 1888–January 1889, National Gallery, London); and a version of bedroom (September 1889, Art Institute of Chicago).

Van Gogh’s bedroom (September 1889), donated to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1926 Credit: Art Institute of Chicago (Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, 1926.417)

Visitors will also have the opportunity to view privately owned works that are only occasionally lent: Orphan people (1882-83, from Nancy and Sean Cotton); Head of a peasant woman (1884-85, from Abello Collection, Spain); Head of Gordina de Groot (May 1885); Basket with oranges (March 1888); The Plains of Le Crowe (May 1888, from Texas); Harvest in Provence (June 1888); And Novel reader (November 1888, from Brazil).

The story of how America discovered Van Gogh begins in 1912, when Pennsylvania pharmaceutical chemist Albert Burns became the first American to buy a painting: a portrait. The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin) (Spring of 1889). He later acquired six more works, all of which are now on display at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia (Barnes required that they not be lent, so they would disappear in Detroit).

Later in 1912, two more paintings came to the United States: Catherine Dreier bought Adeline Ravaux (June 1890, now at the Cleveland Museum of Art) and purchased a self-portrait by John Quinn. (Summer 1887, Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut). Both films are on show in Detroit. Dreyer, himself an artist (and suffragette), described his discovery of van Gogh as “stepping out of a stuffy room into glorious, bracing air.”

The American public first saw Van Gogh’s work in 1913, at the International Exhibition of Modern Art known as the Armory Show. Starting in New York, it moved to Chicago and Boston. This massive exhibition, with more than 1,300 works, includes 21 Van Goghs. None of the van Goghs were sold.

On the eve of World War I, there were only five works by van Gogh in US collections. This compares with 156 in Germany, where Van Gogh’s collection really took off in the early 1900s.

Van Gogh’s first modest one-man show in America was opened in 1915 by a New York dealer, Marius de Zayas, who ran the Modern Gallery. 17 works were shown but none were sold.

In 1920, the commercial Montrose Gallery in New York presented a larger show with 32 paintings and 35 drawings from the Van Gogh family collection, curated by Vincent’s sister-in-law Jo Bonger. This time with three tasks the sower (Autumn 1888), were sold—all going to Theodore Pitcairn, a Pennsylvania clergyman.

Van Gogh’s the sower (autumn 1888), sold at the 1920 Montrose Exhibition to Rev. Theodore Pitcairn Credit: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (gift of Dr. Armand Hammer, AH 91.42)

Two years later the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first US museum to buy a Van Gogh: a self-portrait of the artist wearing a straw hat. This makes the city the perfect venue for the current exhibition. The self-portrait was valued at $4,200. The painting was valued at $80m-$150m in 2013, although it is now worth much more.

Van Gogh’s L’Arlesien: Madame Joseph-Michel Ginoux (November 1888), exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1929 Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951)

When New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened in 1929, it held a spectacular loan exhibition, including 26 of Van Gogh’s works. During this period there were several prominent American Van Gogh collectors who offered paintings. This includes L’Arlésienne: Madame Joseph-Michel Ginoux (November 1888), which was purchased in 1926 by New York entrepreneur Adolph Lewisohn. The portrait was later given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Subsequent museum acquisitions were by institutions in the Midwest. In 1926, the Art Institute of Chicago received a magnificent gift from Frederick Clay Bartlett, including three Van Goghs: Lullaby: Madame Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse) (January 1889), Terrace and observation deck at Moulin de Bloet-Fin, Montmartre (as early as 1887) and bedroomAnother work which years later was thought to be a forgery: Still Life: Watermelon, Fish, Jar.

Van Gogh’s olive tree (June 1889), acquired in 1932 in what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. Credit: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

In 1932, olive tree It became the second Van Gogh to be purchased by a US museum, when it was later acquired by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

Purchased by the St. Louis Art Museum two years later Stairs at Auvers (June-July 1890). Purchased by the Toledo Museum of Art House at Auvers And Wheat field with reaper (both June 1890) in 1935.

Van Gogh’s Stairs at Auvers (June 1890), acquired in 1935 what is now the St. Louis Art Museum Credit: St. Louis Art Museum (purchase 1.35)

But while these early museum acquisitions were important, Van Gogh’s rise to fame in the popular imagination came in 1934 with the publication of Irving Stone’s fictional biography. lust for life (which became even more influential after the 1956 film). Even today many myths surrounding the artist can be found in this novel.

Van Gogh’s first one-man museum exhibition came a year later lust for life books, while MoMA showed 127 works. The show traveled to nine other North American venues and was seen by nearly one million viewers in all. It wasn’t until 1941 that a New York institution bought Van Gogh, when MoMA acquired starry night (June 1889).

Van Gogh portraits by anonymous artists in the Fogg Museum and the National Gallery of Art Credit: Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Bequest of Annie Swan Coburn, 1934.35) and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

What may be surprising is how many fakes and forgeries ended up in US museums, when they were assumed to be authentic. These include two self-portraits. An artist with his pipe purchased by Chicago collector Annie Coburn in the late 1920s and given to the Fogg Museum in 1934. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Another, described by The New York Times When it was bought in 1928 as “the best thing”. [Van Gogh] Ever Did”, was acquired that year by New York banker Chester Dale and bequeathed to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in 1963.

In addition to the two self-portraits and the Bartlett still-life in Chicago, other forgeries and duplicates attached by American museums include: Still life with vase (Philadelphia Museum of Art); landscape (National Gallery of Art); and a drawing of a harvest scene (Art Institute of Chicago). It goes without saying that none of these fakes are being shown at the Detroit exhibition.

The Van Gogh in America Blockbuster will celebrate the centenary of the first acquisition of one of the artist’s works by a US museum, the Detroit Self-Portrait. Its catalog reveals the painstaking research behind the project, along with an important essay by Susan Stein, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Borrowing Van Goghs is now a real challenge, but with 59 paintings, the Detroit exhibition will have the largest number of works in an American show for more than 20 years.


Source link