May 18, 2006
If Vincent van Gogh were alive today, he'd probably be in and out of treatment centers, on talk shows and magazine covers, a media darling and bad boy. The Dutch artist's tempestuous life has been a continuing source of fascination for writers. Steven Dietz's Inventing van Gogh, currently at Mobtown Players, is the third play I've seen about the troubled 19th-century artist, who only sold two paintings during his lifetime. The first play was an experimental piece; the second a musical.
November 27, 2003
Forty works that may - or may not - have been made by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh are on view at the Breda Museum in the Netherlands. The exhibit is the result of research by the museum's curator, Ron Dirven, to track down hundreds of the artist's works said to have been dispersed at Breda's flea market in 1902. As the story goes, van Gogh abandoned a huge cache of his work in 1885, when he left his family home in the village of Neunen. His mother moved to nearby Breda a few months later, taking several chests of her son's work with her. The chests ended up in the care of a carpenter who gave them to a second-hand merchant.
July 13, 2003
Don Olson's wish for today is that at twilight, all of us face southeast and observe the rising of the full moon. At that moment, Olson hopes we will collectively turn our thoughts to Vincent van Gogh. If it were possible, Olson, a Texas astronomer, would transport all of humanity to a field in the south of France to do today's moon-watching there. Olson is convinced that on this very day, 114 years ago, that is exactly what Van Gogh, the great Dutch post-impressionist, did and exactly where he did it. Today is one of the few occasions since that long ago evening when what van Gogh saw -- the alignment of the moon with the landscape -- will be perfectly duplicated.
July 25, 1999
DOROTHY LANDS IN VIRGINIAThe Wizard of Oz meets Mr. Wizard as Virginia's Air & Space Center sponsors the traveling exhibit "The Science of Oz" through Sept. 12.Visitors begin by walking along the Yellow Brick Road where activated light sensors trigger different songs from the movie. Next, experience what it's like to see a tornado from afar and step inside to experience high-speed cyclonic winds."Oh! That Scared Me!" shows why a cowardly lion experiences physiological changes when startled and "Race the Tin Man's Heart" explains the volume of blood a heart pumps every minute and discusses the circulatory system.
October 27, 1998
THIS IS the decade for recycling the arts. A look at the marquees on Broadway reveals that such shows from yesteryear as "Annie Get Your Gun," "Cabaret," "Chicago," "On the Town" and "The Sound of Music" are playing there once again. Many of the same paintings by Picasso have been reshuffled to appear in multiple exhibitions, most recently "Picasso and the Weeping Women" (1994) and "Picasso and Portraiture" (1996).The latest art blockbuster, "Van Gogh's Van Goghs," at the National Gallery of Art in Washington through Jan. 3, is a partial encore of similar shows held at the Baltimore Museum of Art and other venues in 1961 and 1970.
October 25, 1998
To the world, Vincent van Gogh was the quintessential starving artist, who never received recognition in his lifetime and committed suicide at 37 thinking himself a failure.That he is now established as one of the greatest and most beloved artists of all time - that in 1990 his "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for the world-record price of $82 million - may be the cruelest story in the history of art.The story's true, but it has been fed by a legend that's not. According to popular lore, van Gogh sold only one painting in his entire life.