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Van Gogh:
Painting the Night

Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night has captivated artists, art historians, psychiatrists and laymen for more than a century. We asked leading experts how this painting and its artist became such timeless icons and assembled their answers into a sound collage. This 25-minute podcast complements the current MoMA exhibition "Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night," which will travel to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in February 2009.

Listen to Joachim Pissarro from MoMA share a never-before published anecdote about his great-grandmother refusing to open her house to "this madman." Dietrich Blumer, a psychiatrist who has researched van Gogh's work and illness in depth, explains how the artist's epilepsy may have influenced his work, and Van Gogh Museum curator Leo Jansen talks about how letters to family and friends enrich our understanding of van Gogh's work and personality. Sjraar van Heughten, co-curator of the exhibition, speaks about the recurring night motifs in the painter's oeuvre and its unique role in 19th century art. The Van Gogh Museum's director Axel Rüger talks about the everlasting fascination of van Gogh's most famous The Starry Night. The voices of experts are combined with readings from relevant letters Vincent wrote to his brother Theo.

  • Sjraar van Heugten, Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum and co-curator of “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night”
  • Joachim Pissarro, adjunct curator at the Department of Painting at MoMA and co-curator of the van Gogh show
  • Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum
  • Leo Jansen, curator of paintings at the Van Gogh Museum and author of Vincent Van Gogh, Painted with Words: The Letters to Emile Bernard
  • Dietrich Blumer, a psychiatrist at the University of Tennessee, expert on epilepsy and author of The Illness of Vincent van Gogh
"Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night" is on view at:
MoMA  New York, September 21, 2008 —January 05, 2009
Van Gogh Museum  Amsterdam, February 13—June 7, 2009
In Collaboration with ARTINFO