Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

A Van Gogh Surpirse

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 2:05 PM
I have a Quaker parrot.  

The joyous task of completing a bi-weekly cage cleanup usually falls upon me, seeing as if I left the cleanup up to my husband, my entire house would inevitably end up smelling like dirty cage and our poor Sully would be left in 'dirtiness' up to his eyeballs.  (Sorry hubby, but you are quite a procrastinator!)

                                                                  my bird, Sully

Anyways, the point of the lovely anecdote above was that in the reserve stack of newspapers set aside for the birdcage I came across an article in the NY Times about Van Gogh dated from February 2012. 
The subject of the article was the then upcoming Philadelphia Museum exhibit which focused on the landscape paintings from the last four years of Van Gogh's life.

Although the subject matter of Van Gogh's art ranged from portraiture to interiors, and self-portraits to landscapes, what made the article interesting was that the subject of this exhibit provided the viewer with a singular focus, devoid of the usual concentration on the artists tumultuous and tragic life.  The works tell the story of an artist who constantly revised and reconstructed his approach to painting and one who's obsession with nature demonstrates a passion and dedication to art and the depiction that even a single blade of grass holds within it meaning and beauty.

Here is a link to the exhibit:  The 328 page catalog for it is on sale for half-off at $38 dollars.

Philadelphia Museum: 'Van Gogh Up Close'

Here is a link to the NY Times Article: (Don't forget to check out the multimedia slideshow that is included in the article.)

'In the Eye of His Storms'

One other thing that I saw on the Philadelphia Museum website was that they apparently had a Haiku station at the exhibit where people would construct a Haiku based on some of the artwork in the exhibit.  This would make a great lesson extension for a Van Gogh project!! Here's one of the artworks people reacted to:
'A Pair of Boots'

He walked in the sun
With leather boots on his feet
Squishing as he walked
-Emily (4-7-2012)
Tired feet of mine
Rest these leather boots awhile
Sleep away the dust
-Karen (4-7-2012)
Oh weary feet walk
Miles trodden on the earth
Seeking new landscapes
-Charlene (4-8-2012)