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Vincent in Détroit

On the occasion of the centenary of its status as the first public museum in the United States to have purchased a painting by Vincent van Gogh, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) offers a unique exhibition that tells how the artist's notoriety grew. is developed with the American public.

The exhibition is visible until January 22, 2023 and presents no less than 74 original works by Van Gogh.

 Vincent van Gogh. The Bedroom, 1889. The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection
Vincent van Gogh. The Bedroom, 1889. The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

The purchase of the self-portrait painted by Van Gogh in 1887 by the DIA in 1922 was the first made by a public museum in the United States. Audiences were quickly won over by the artist's robust aesthetic, featuring subjects from modern, everyday life.

Vincent Van Gogh. Escalier à Auvers. 1890. Saint Louis Art Museum.
Vincent Van Gogh. Escalier à Auvers. 1890. Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, St. Louis Museum of Art, and Toledo Museum of Art subsequently acquired paintings by Van Gogh, including: Olive Trees (1889; Kansas City ); Staircase in Auvers (1890; Saint Louis); Houses in Auvers (1890; Toledo); Wheat fields with harvester, Auvers (1890, Toledo).

These are all presented in the exhibition.

Vincent Van Gogh. Autoportrait. 1887. Detroit Institute of Arts
Vincent Van Gogh. Autoportrait. 1887. Detroit Institute of Arts

Vincent Van Gogh produced a considerable body of work: more than 850 paintings and nearly 1,300 works on paper. He started painting at the age of 27 and for the next 10 years until his death in 1890.

Pêcheur majorquin, 1908, huile sur toile, Collection privée
Vincent Van Gogh. Champs de blé. 1890. Toledo Museum of Art

"How Van Gogh became a household name in the United States is a fascinating, largely untold story," said Jill Shaw, head of the James Pearson Duffy Modern and Contemporary Art Department.


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