100 years after the first American acquisition of a Van Gogh, the artist receives an iconic retrospective

“Van Gogh in America” Show Opens at the Detroit Institute of Arts in October 2022

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Van Gogh
“Self-Portrait,” 1887, Vincent van Gogh

The Detroit Institute of Arts has announced an upcoming exhibition dedicated to one of the world's most beloved and iconic artists. From the studies of Jill Shaw, curator of the exhibition, and her colleagues, it was possible to design Van Gogh in America, which as the name suggests, proposes to reveal for the first time the introduction and rise of the artist in the United States. 

With 72 works, 56 paintings and 16 drawings, this will be the largest exhibition of works by the artist anywhere in the United States in the last 20 years, and Detroit is the most appropriate place to house it, as its museum was the pioneer of the continent in the purchase of a Van Gogh.

In 1922, the Detroit Institute of Arts purchased the canvas. Self Portrait, from 1887, the first American acquisition of a work by the Dutch artist. The painting is one of the most iconic, made three years before his death, he portrays himself with a straw hat, soft and earthy brushstrokes.

Despite his work appearing in more than 50 group exhibitions during the two decades following his American debut at the 1913 International Exposition of Modern Art (commonly known as the Armory Show), until 1935 Van Gogh had no solo exhibitions in the United States. At the same time, the novel lust for life, by Irving Stone, was published, and its film adaptation in 1956 shaped and began to solidify popular understanding of Van Gogh in America.

Two Peasants Digging 1889, Vincent van Gogh

Originally, the exhibition was scheduled to open in June 2020, but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the delay until October 2022 was initially announced, it seemed like an unreasonably long wait and the pandemic was not anticipated to last that long. But the postponement now turns out to be a prudent decision. Most of the loans were renegotiated, although nine works were no longer available.

Of the 72 works, 40 will be from US museums, five from US private collections and 27 from abroad. Among the most important international loans is the van gogh chair (1924), from the National Gallery in London and The fourth (1889), from The Art Institute of Chicago.

“Van Gogh's Chair,” 1888, Vincent van Gogh

The curatorship also includes works by post-impressionist artists Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin and other great masters such as Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and Joseph Stella.

Visitation: October 2nd to January 22nd, 2023
Location: Detroit Institute of Arts
Address: 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202, United States
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday, from 9am to 4pm. On Fridays, from 09:00 to 21:00. On Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm. closed on mondays
Ticket: US$ 6 – US$ 14.00

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