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Collector To Currier: Take My van Gogh, Please (Temporarily)

vangoghIt’s been a while since I focused on the single-painting exhibitions that I like so much — because they get people to look hard and long and one masterpiece. But I thought I’d shine a little light on a museum that doesn’t get much national attention, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H., for something similar — a special two-painting loan show.

The key part is that the two paintings include one by van Gogh — Route aux confins de Paris, avec paysan portant la bêche sur l’épaule — or Path on the outskirts of Paris, with a peasant carrying a spade — from 1887. It’s on loan until end-January, along with Renoir’s Femmes dans un Jardin (Women in a Garden), from 1873, thanks to an unnamed collector. They are being hung in the Currier’s European paintings gallery, near its Monet. The Currier doesn’t own a van Gogh or a Renoir. People in the area would have to go to Boston to see the nearest van Gogh.

More details are here in the press release.

renoirSo while this isn’t, strictly speaking, even a two-painting exhibition, you can bet that the Currier will get more visitors, coming especially to see these pictures — which, btw, work well together, don’ t they?

Thanks to the collector, whoever you are.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the Currier 




  1. On the surface, this seems to be wonderful news; I’m a regular patron of the Currier, which consistently works small miracles on a far more modest budget than its big city peers (e.g., the recent acquisition of significant works by Robert Indiana, Frank Stella, Sam Gilliam, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Sam Maloof). The cynical side of me, however, wonders if there is any possibility that the Van Gogh and Renoir are being “burnished” with museum cred for future auction sale by the owner(s). I guess anonymity makes this impossible to know until the paintings actually show up on the block.

    • You’re right — there’s always that possibility.

    • Tom Minota says:

      In this day and age I suppose anything is possible. I am sure that the owner, if selling eventually, would want the greatest dollar figure possible and that putting it on display. The museum having the opportunity to display the art means that people can actually go and appreciate art that they would otherwise not be able to see…regardless of the owner’s intentions. The museum may not even be aware of the owner’s intentions. What I do know it that this was a great opportunity to see the greatness of Van Gogh and be able to better understand his life when more is found out about the man

  2. Hi, have you read Gary Schwartz’s last column about the van Gogh museum? Absolutely spot on, and he is the only one here in Holland who dares to speak his opinion!
    Please let me know what you think,kind regards,WB Blok

    • Thank you for sending this link. I had not read this piece, which does raise questions about the van Gogh museum’s behavior regarding its recent authentication of “Sunset at Montmajour.” Certainly the painting is not new to the museum, and I don’t really see why it hyped the “discovery.”

      • They hyped it to cover their former blunderings.It is not the only mistake,or,even worse,willful misconduct by them;in november there will be a lawsuit against their haughty curators Louis van Tilborgh and Teio Meedendorp,the nrs 1&2 of the museum,the Laurel&Hardy of the Dutch Museum World and they’ll get clobbered this time.But haven’t you heard about the mill painting in De Fundatie in Zwolle, and the big flower painting in the Kröller Müller? They had to put those right too,and I bet there are now many people calling them,saying:”well,if you gave Montmajour a second look,then look at my painting again too that you rejected all these years ago!
        Have you read their suicide theory in the Burlington magazine? “The wound was 4cm below the left nipple,and was fired from very close,because of the powder burns,so it must be suicide!” Well well,so if I put a gun against your chest and pull the trigger,it is suicide?! Apart from that,the revolvers in that age were ca. 20cm long;go ahead and try to fire it in that position,you’d have to bend your arm most awkwardly! No,the latest biographers Naifeh&White Smith were absolutely right,vGogh was shot by accident,read that book!

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