The Post-Impressionism and Vincent van Gogh by Juan T. Vazquez Martín
video Spanish In my two trips to Holland in 2000 and 2008, I went to Amsterdam. The first one it was to accompany my good friend and Austrian photographer Rainer Reisenberger and the second by the invitation of Anita St. Claire.
There I visited Vincent van Gogh Museum, a gorgeous and modern building which design was commissioned by the government to a Dutch architect in 1963 and finished in 1973; a pavilion was added by a Japanese architect in 1999.
Once inside the building, I could see that in addition to architectural beauty it has many rooms with a huge collection of important works from Van Gogh. This was possible thanks to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger and widow of Theo van Gogh, brother of Vincent. She always knew that her brother-in-law was a genius in art. Carefully and patiently she tried as a detective, to find painting after painting locating them in the Low Countries; that way she gathered from all the corners where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted the artworks dispersed and abandoned. Fortunately and ironically, those persons who kept these paintings did not care about them and almost gave thanks for taking, in their opinion, ‘those canvas that are worth for nothing.’
This was the beginning of the collection that I tell here.
I walked hours observing in detail the entire museum complex, its vast collection of paintings and drawings; the huge library where there are magazines and books of many sizes of impeccable design and printing related to the work of Vincent van Gogh. The library full of audience watching, touching and buying cup of tea, pen, reproductions of his paintings in a variety of size, keychains, etc. A large industry at Vincent van Gogh art service.
Closer to the library and inside the building there is a cafeteria from where comfortable sat one can see the nearest garden and park behind the museum. A cafeteria with light food but delicious. A moment to rest the feet, satisfy thirst and hunger after so much art and meditate on what we have seen and then to continue.
Furthermore, the building has conference rooms, administration offices, restoration department, library, etc. I liked the room where there are several computers monitors with keyboards and mouse to get more information on the painter brief life and his numerous artwork.
I confess that I went out of the museum very emotional and sad. I started to walk nearby the museum, by the park, in the vain delusion to meet with Vincent van Gogh spirit. Among the diverse things I wanted to tell him it was this:
“Oh God, Vincent! What fabulous collection of your artworks! All of them you did in only 10 years. See how much it cost to get in to your museum; how many people come here from all over the world, including children and elderly who enjoy to appreciate your work alive, as you create them. Watch as many specialists are working in your museum earning high wages, security guards and cleaning assistants, curators, administrative and computer employees, ect; and a polygraph industry that create jobs for many other people.
Ironically you sold not a painting in your entire life! You lived thanks to the help of your brother Theo who not only loved you but he knew very well of your talent of painter.
From your paintings it has been built an economy to numerous persons who work at the Vincent van Gogh Museum”
But no, I did not find him. Although I knew he had to be closer. I felt his presence. I stayed for a while going around the park until the evening arrived and then I returned to my dear friend Anita’s home.
(Click here over the image show below to watch an interview video to Juan T. Vázquez Martín on Van Gogh museum and its collection.)