Van Gogh Alive

Shortly before leaving for Russia I viewed the Van Gogh Alive exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte. Visiting art in a science museum brought new ways to view paintings I have long admired. For example, the enormous screens showing the art often focused on small features of a larger work, one at a time. Music from Van Gogh’s time played as the images changed, and other screens showed quotes from Van Gogh’s letters to his brother.

After seeing the IMAX film about Van Gogh and the exhibit, my companions and I discussed the pros and cons of viewing art in this way compared with the traditional way. As much as I enjoyed Van Gogh Alive, nothing matched the awe I experienced in seeing the strokes in the paint of the famous Cafe Terrace painting when I saw that work in Seattle. We wished The Mint Museum had partnered with Discovery Place to bring in a traveling exhibit of Van Gogh paintings that we could have visited after seeing Van Gogh Alive. Amazingly enough, my wish was granted in Russia.

In Moscow we attended The Pushkin Gallery and not only did we see examples of Van Gogh’s work, we saw the one painting he sold during his lifetime. In St. Petersburg at the Hermitage we saw more examples of Van Gogh’s work, and on top of that we have driven past ads for a Van Gogh Alive exhibit currently in St. Petersburg!

In some ways it feels as though Van Gogh really is alive and I am following him. I wonder where we are going next!

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