Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Van Gogh: It suddenly occurred to me that the summer is fading quickly. There has been a major art exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum since last spring and it closes on September 5th. I decided that there was nothing on the calendar today and we had better take the opportunity to see the exhibit. It was called ‘From Van Gogh to Mondrian’ and was on loan from the Kroller-Muller Museum. Helene Kroller-Muller was the daughter of a Dutch industrialist and was married to a German industrialist. There was lots of money. Helene was interested in art and had the wealth to put an outstanding collection together. Today it is housed in the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands.

I was mainly interested in the Van Gogh paintings and there were plenty of them to satisfy me. There were several Picassos that were of interest and several by George Seurat and Paul Signac, pointillists whose work I enjoy. Three Signacs, to be exact, which is three times as many as I had seen previously. I was introduced to several pointillists whom I had never viewed before. One was Henry van de Velde, the architect who designed several building for the Kroller-Mullers. I was very impressed with his painting, 'Twilight.' The Cubists, Gris, Leger, Diego Rivera in his Cubist period, don’t interest me very much. And the Mondrian hardly at all. He was trying to make a statement, but obviously not to me.

The Van Goghs were very nice. No ‘Starry, Starry Night’ but there was the fabulous ‘Café Terrace at Night’ and the ‘The Garden at the Asylum at San Remy,’ the place where Van Gogh committed himself when he felt out of control. There were portraits of people knew during his stay at Arles in the south of France; the postmaster and his wife. There were some amazing, quite realistic, paintings in pastel chalk and ink which were done before he began painting impressionistic images. I remember being smitten by the impressionists fifty-plus years ago and thinking that I would never see any paintings in the flesh, so to speak. I’m very glad that I have had the opportunity; at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Portland Art Museum, The National Gallery in London, The National Galley of Canada, and now here at the Seattle Art Museum.


Blogger Bill said...

Judy and I went to the MFA in Houston the other day to see an exhibit of Diane Arbus photographs. We were in a sort of down mood, so you can imagine how we felt after seeing the exhibit. We should have listened to the Goon Show instead.

6:33 AM  

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