The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - JON HUR­DLE New York Times

PHILADEL­PHIA — Five ver­sions of Van Gogh’s “Sun­flow­ers” paint­ing will be show­cased si­mul­ta­ne­ously on Face­book Live Mon­day in a col­lab­o­ra­tion among art mu­se­ums on three con­ti­nents.

The paint­ings will be in­ter­preted by cu­ra­tors from mu­se­ums in Lon­don, Am­s­ter­dam, Mu­nich, Philadel­phia and Tokyo, who will de­liver a se­quence of live 15-minute com­men­taries while stand­ing with the works in the mu­se­ums.

Be­fore the cu­ra­to­rial events, the mu­se­ums will also use their own Face­book pages, to sim­u­late the ex­pe­ri­ence of view­ing all five paint­ings in a gallery, al­low­ing the au­di­ence to com­pare and ex­am­ine them as if they were in a three-di­men­sional en­vi­ron­ment.

The vir­tual gallery will in­clude nar­ra­tion by Van Gogh’s great-grand-nephew, Willem Van Gogh, who will share mem­o­ries of the paint­ings, which were cre­ated in 1888-9 for a visit by the artist Paul Gau­guin to Van Gogh’s house in Ar­les, France.

The Face­book Live event is be­ing led by the Na­tional Gallery in Lon­don, which in 2014 brought to­gether its own ver­sion of “Sun­flow­ers,” and that of the Van Gogh Mu­seum in Am­s­ter­dam, for the first time in 65 years.

Jen­nifer Thompson, cu­ra­tor of the Face­book Live event at the Philadel­phia Mu­seum of Art — which houses the only ver­sion of “Sun­flow­ers” in the U.S. — said she be­lieved it was the first time that art mu­se­ums in dif­fer­ent coun­tries had used so­cial me­dia to high­light works that are un­likely to be seen to­gether in one phys­i­cal space. “It’s a fun and en­gag­ing way to think about these five paint­ings that are scat­tered about the globe, that are un­likely to ever come to­gether in one venue or one ex­hi­bi­tion. This is a way for us to take ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy to vir­tu­ally bring the paint­ings to­gether, and to have a con­ver­sa­tion among cu­ra­tors.”

She said that the “Sun­flower” paint­ings were among the pub­lic favourites at all the par­tic­i­pat­ing mu­se­ums, and that the event was an op­por­tu­nity to high­light Van Gogh’s choice of colour and tex­ture and his love of na­ture.

Each cu­ra­tor will talk about a dif­fer­ent as­pect of the paint­ings, Thompson said. For ex­am­ple, she will fo­cus on Van Gogh’s rep­e­ti­tion of sub­ject, while her col­league from the Neue Pi­nakothek in Mu­nich will talk about his use of colour.

Thompson said she would dis­tin­guish the Philadel­phia and Mu­nich ver­sions of the paint­ings — which both have turquoise back­grounds — from later ver­sions in the other three mu­se­ums, which have yel­low back­grounds.

The Face­book Live event will be­gin with the Lon­don pre­sen­ta­tion, start­ing at 12:50 p.m. Eastern time, and con­clude with that of the Tokyo cu­ra­tor (from the Seiji Togo Memo­rial Sompo Ja­pan Nip­ponkoa Mu­seum of Art), start­ing at 2:10 p.m. Eastern time.


"Sun­flow­ers" (1889), from the Van Gogh Mu­seum, Am­s­ter­dam. It and four other ver­sions of Van Gogh’s "Sun­flow­ers" will be show­cased si­mul­ta­ne­ously on Face­book Live on Aug. 14 in a col­lab­o­ra­tion among art mu­se­ums on three con­ti­nents.

“Sun­flow­ers" (1888), at the Seiji Togo Memo­rial Sompo Ja­pan Mu­seum of Art, Tokyo.

“Sun­flow­ers” (1888) at the Na­tional Gallery in Lon­don.

"Sun­flow­ers" (1888) from the Neue Pi­nakothek mu­seum in Mu­nich.

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