Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.
Profs and Pints DC presents: “Know Van Gogh,” a scholarly look at the life, mind, and work of a beloved modern artist, with Lisa Lipinski, assistant professor of art history at the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.
The popularity of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience leaves no doubt of the continued popularity of an artist who, in his lifetime, only managed to sell one painting. But casually observing Vincent van Gogh’s work—framed or projected—as a museum visitor or immersive exhibit attendee is one thing. Doing so with in-depth knowledge of the person who produced the paintings is another.
Come to Washington D.C.’s Little Penn Coffeehouse, in the Penn Quarter just blocks from several of the city’s excellent art museums, for a fascinating art history lesson on Van Gogh that will leave you much more able to understand and appreciate his work.
Dr. Lisa Lipinski, an art historian who previously delivered an excellent Profs and Pints talk on the pivotal modern artist Marcel Duchamp, will explore Van Gogh’s life and personality, shattering myths about him and providing an in-depth visual analysis of his most famous paintings along the way.
Her talk will trace the artist’s development from his humble beginnings a self-taught draftsman and painter of peasants whose style grew more sophisticated and radical after his encounters with Impressionism, Japanese prints, the Old Masters of French and Dutch art, and contemporary theories of art. He dedicated his life to art because he viewed it as a profound calling and as a means of serving humanity, but his artistic career spanned only 10 years.
Taking on some of the common misperceptions about Van Gogh, Dr. Lipinski will discuss how, although the artist suffered from seizures and mental illness in the last years of his life, he only painted while in a lucid frame of mind, with the intention of capturing the feeling he saw in a dusty blade of grass, a flower blossom, or a field of wheat stacks.
A self-described “man of passions,” Van Gogh was deeply self-reflective but not quite the solitary and mad genius of popular culture. He had supportive—if sometimes tense—relationships with his brother Theo and with the French artist Paul Gauguin. It was his sister-in-law, Johanna Bonger van Gogh, who saved his paintings and his voluminous and extraordinary letters, which provide insights into his creative process. He might have died in obscurity, with little known about his life and decade-long career as an artist, had she not preserved his paintings and published the letters that Vincent and her husband Theo exchanged with each other.
Thanks to such efforts on behalf of an artist who worked in poverty—and the scholarship and teaching of art historians like Professor Lipinski—you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the works of Van Gogh with an understanding of him that is much more than impressionistic. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Image: Part of an 1889 Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait on display at the National Gallery of Art. (Wikimedia Commons.)