Saturday, February 18, 2012

Museum Tour

Recently I was privileged to go on a special bus trip with a friend to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We had special tour tickets for the Van Gogh exhibit. What was really special about the tour of the Van Gogh exhibit was that it took place during the hour before the museum opened to the public. We also had a human guide who talked about many of the paintings and about Van Gogh's life.

One interesting fact I learned was the reason he signed all his paintings with just his first name. He wanted his paintings to give the message that he was a friend and brother to all. Family and friends call you by your first name. There are also many paintings he did not sign but they are known to be his because he gave them to family and those paintings have passed down from person to person giving the paintings a provenance.

Winslow Homer's painting "A Temperance Meeting"
How incredible to be able to stand so close to these masterpieces! To be able to have my nose a bare 4 inches away from a canvas and see the individual brush strokes! Not just with the Van Gogh collection but all the rest, Monet, Matisse, Turner, Picasso, Pissarro, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, just to name a few. A very few.

I could have spent the whole day there but we only had a few hours. We took a break for lunch and discovered just past the cafeteria an interactive exhibit based on Van Gogh's painting, Rain. Visitor's were encouraged to write a Haiku inspired by his painting. So I had to enter my effort.

"Undergrowth With Two Figures" by Vincent
I want to go back. I WILL go back. It was expensive to go on the bus tour but it was definitely well worth the expense. I used my Christmas money for my ticket and to buy a souvenir mug with a Vincent painting on it. One of my favorites from the exhibition - no, NOT Sunflowers. But a truly French forest image called "Undergrowth With Two Figures". It is beautiful and slightly haunting. This particular painting is on loan to the exhibit from the Cincinnati Art Museum. I highly recommend everyone to go see the Van Gogh exhibit while it is still touring. There are paintings from many museums including the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands as well as others from private collections. The next stop on the tour will be Toronto.


  1. Hey Marta:
    We're going to this exhibit, too. I love Van Gogh.
    But where's the haiku? I wanna read it!

    1. Hi Kathryn - If you scroll down in the Blog or go to the next "oldest" post you can see the Haiku posted below the posting about the tour. Regarding the Haiku, it is the "American" form of Haiku with the strict syllable count and not the "Japanese" form which assigns more syllables to words containing the "o" sound, etc. But, I think I did pretty good for an "instant poem" - it took me about 5 minutes to write it.