Beginning Sunday, some of the work of Vincent van Gogh and his inspirations will be on view at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources.”
With 20 works of art by van Gogh and many more pieces by more than 60 artists he studied throughout his career, the museum said the exhibit seeks to immerse viewers into van Gogh’s imagination and the art world of the late 19th century.
While many cities are showing the immersive van Gogh exhibit with lights and projections of his work, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s exhibit features actual art pieces from public and private lenders around the world.
“What we’re trying to do is act as a little bit of a corrective so that you think of van Gogh not as some sort of self-made genius, especially this assumption that genius must spring from insanity,” said Eik Kahng, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s deputy director and chief curator. “We want to get to the Vincent who is the intelligent, sophisticated Vincent — the Vincent who is so deeply immersed in his moment in his visual culture and to see the kind of literary imagination that accompanied him throughout his life.”
“Through Vincent’s Eyes” is also the museum’s first international loan exhibition after its $50 million renovation, with new galleries and new LED lighting.
QR codes will be located throughout the exhibit, which can be scanned to access digital commentary, and touch-screen computers will introduce a digital interactive aspect to the exhibit.
The exhibit will present pieces to show each stage of van Gogh’s 10-year art career, from his early drawing “Marsh with Water Lilies,” to his 1886 “Wheat Field” painting, to one of his last paintings in his signature style, “Roses.”
“Celebrated works of art by van Gogh will be juxtaposed with works by the many artists he admired, thereby dramatizing both the artist’s indebtedness to and radical departure from the art world of his day,” the press release for the exhibit said.
Among the artists represented in the exhibit as van Gogh’s “artist heroes” will be Adolphe Monticelli, Eugène Delacroix, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet and several more.
In addition to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s exhibition, more than a dozen community partners throughout Santa Barbara will be embracing the celebration of van Gogh and his work with events inspired by the artist during the next few months.
Presented by the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, large sunflower sculptures created by The Environment Makers and painted by local students will be mounted along State Street, and MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is hosting a virtual reality experience of van Gogh’s “The Night Café” on Saturdays from March 5 through May 21.
On select dates between March and May, the Downtown Organization will host artists to paint van Gogh-inspired pieces en plein air on the 1000 block of State Street.
All of the community partners and their events can be found on the museum’s website.
The museum plans to hold other events during the exhibition, such as the exhibition symposium with lectures by five scholars from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 13.
At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. March 20, the one-man play “Vincent” will be performed at the museum, and “Van Gogh the Anglophile: Looking Through His Eyes at Victorian Art,” an Art Matters lecture with art historian Malcolm Warner, will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 7.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources” exhibition will be on view through May 22. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.sbma.net.
— Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.