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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Van Gogh Film Premiere in Washington

It was a sold-out audience at the Natural History Museum’s IMAX theatre on St. Patrick’s Day Night. We came to see anything about Van Gogh; we were not disappointed.

The title was "Brush with Genius," and it was the Washington, D.C. premiere.

The music, the telling, the art, the scenery gave much to delight. The paintings became the scenes which became the paintings in gentle descriptions. All told by Van Gogh "speaking" mostly from the letters he wrote describing his life, his passion, his tribulations.

Many galleries in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam served as locale for some scenes all of which were filmed on location in the Netherlands and in France. Many of the paintings were new to me. Van Gogh “said” his passion near the end of his life drove him to paint sometimes three canvasses a day.

Effectively interspersed throughout was actual filming of the movie by the co-creator (with Francois Bertrand), Peter Knapp, passionate Van Gogh aficionado.

By the minute (about 40 total) it was likely the most expensive movie I've ever seen, however, the value far exceeded the cost. Another hit by the Smithsonian Associates!


Don Pablo said...

Regarding: "The Last Van Gogh," by Alyson Richman, and Fine Arts Museums and Book Clubs interested in an author's visit and discussion

Alyson Richman, the internationally acclaimed author of "The Mask Carver's Son" (Bloomsbury, 2000) and "Swedish Tango" (Atria Books - Simon & Schuster, 2004), has written "The Last Van Gogh" (Berkley Books – Penguin), which recreates the riveting and impassioned final months of Vincent Van Gogh's life. The novel, which is seen through the eyes of Marguerite Gachet (the daughter of the doctor who treated Vincent immediately prior to his death), depicts the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair. Both a love story and a meticulously researched historical novel about one of the world's most adored painters, "The Last Van Gogh" explores the complexities between patient and doctor, painter and muse.

Released in early October, 2006, selected by Redbook Magazine as one of its top 10 things to do in its October, 2006 issue and chosen as a November 2006 Booksense Notable Pick, "The Last Van Gogh" has received praise from literary critics around the world. It has already been translated (or is in the process of being translated) into Dutch, German, Danish, Finnish and Korean editions.

It gives us great pleasure to inform you and your colleagues that Ms. Richman is now offering to visit fine arts museums or book clubs in person, when feasible, or to participate by telephone or video teleconferencing, to give members additional background information regarding the historical inspiration behind "The Last Van Gogh" and, also, the unexpected surprises she uncovered during her research trips to the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent Van Gogh spent his last days.

The Columbus Museum of Art, in Columbus Ohio, held such a discussion, led by Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes, with Ms. Richman in attendance via teleconference. The event was so successful that two separate sessions had to be held, on two different days. (Please see the following link in this regard:)

In addition, the exciting new information about Van Gogh that Ms. Richman researched and incorporated into her fascinating novel has already generated considerable interest and enthusiasm in lectures and discussion groups at fine art museums around the country, including the the Dayton Museum of Fine Art, the Heckscher Museum of Art (in Huntington, New York) and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

For further information about "The Last Van Gogh," please feel free to open up the Word file that is attached to this communication and, also, to click on any or all of the following links:,,9780425212677,00.html

If your book discussion group is interested in possibly having Alyson Richman personally participate in an interactive discussion in connection with her novel "The Last Van Gogh," either in person, by telephone, or by video teleconference, please reply directly to: (The author is making herself available for such discussions free-of-charge and is not expecting any fee in this regard.) We hope to hear from you.

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