Columbus Museum of Art Van Gogh Exhibit

Continuing with the Van Gogh theme this fall, we went to the Columbus Museum of Art to see the Van Gogh exhibit with Mom and Dad.  We had never been to the Columbus Museum of Art so it was a fun adventure day for us.

The Columbus Museum of Art was founded in 1878 as the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts.  It was the first art museum to register in Ohio.  An art school was established along with the museum and renamed the Columbus College of Art and Design.  The museum moved to its present location in 1931 and has undergone many renovations and additions over the years.  The name was changed to the Columbus Museum of Art during its Centennial in 1978.

There are currently 11 different exhibitions going on at the Columbus Museum of Art.  One $18 ticket ($9 for 60+) gets you into any of the exhibits except the special exhibit.  The museum is very large and you could spend a full day wandering around and enjoying the different displays.  You can see a map here.  Fortunately, they also have the Schokko Cafe where you can have a meal or a snack.

We only saw one exhibit, “Through Vincent’s Eyes:  Van Gogh and his Sources,” which is the special exhibit through February 6.  We had to buy special tickets for the exhibit, but the tickets included general admission to the museum on the same day.  The Van Gogh tickets were $28 for adults and $19 for seniors.  Sometimes it pays to be old!

“Through Vincent’s Eyes” featured 14 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh which were displayed on special blue backgrounds.  But the exhibit had a lot more than 14 paintings.  It also included paintings and sculptures by people who influenced Van Gogh.  Van Gogh wrote letters profusely, over 650 to his brother alone, and in the letters he expressed his feelings and thoughts about the art and artists around him.  Many of his quotes were included in the exhibit.  We saw paintings by Degas and Manet as well as many other famous artists.

Mom and Dad reading the timeline
A painting by Degas
Selfie with a Van Gogh

The Van Gogh exhibit took up three large rooms and people could wander around and see the paintings in a semi-chronological order.  We could observe the development of his art as he tried various techniques and finally evolved to a distinctive style.  One of the things I noticed about the paintings that you don’t notice in a picture of the painting, is the depth created by the layers of paint.  The paintings also got less realistic as he went along, until they expressed impressions and feelings more than an actual item.  The final painting in the exhibit, and one of the last Van Gogh painted, was eerily morose, with two almost transparent figures surrounded by a woods filled with light, but giving the impression of darkness.

We spent an hour wandering around the exhibit and could have spent longer.  But sometimes you have to absorb what you are seeing before you can appreciate seeing it again.  We looked around the Museum Store, which had a fun and eclectic selection of items.  One book that was particularly interesting was all 2,000 of Van Gogh’s paintings – and only $50.

We really enjoyed our visit to the Columbus Museum of Art and the display, “Through Vincent’s Eyes.”  Tom and I will definitely return to check out more of the museum another time.