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The DIA Celebrates Van Gogh’s Influence on America

Photo: Sarahbeth Maney / USA TODAY NETWORK

DETROIT, November 22, 2022 ~ The Detroit Institute of Arts is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of one of its most famous acquisitions, the Vincent van GoghSelf Portrait,” through an exhibition entitled, “Van Gogh in America.”   

The DIA was the first civic museum in the United States to acquire a painting by Van Gogh, Detroit Institute of Arts Director Salvador Salort-Pons told 760 WJR’s Paul W. Smith.

Our ‘Self Portrait’ …  was a visionary acquisition, because at the time … even though Van Gogh was fairly known in Europe, he was not recognized as a great artist in the United States, and the DIA had the vision to recognize his talent and buy a painting in 1922.


November 22, 2022 ~ Detroit Institute of Arts Director Salvador Salort-Pons talks to Paul W. about the “Van Gogh in America” exhibit, and he says it’s a great thing for the whole family to experience during the holidays.

(CONTINUED) The exhibit tells the story of how early promoters of modernism in the United States sought to influence the movement’s future by introducing Van Gogh’s work and biography into the American consciousness.

We had to tell the story of how collecting Van Goghs was done in the USA,” continued Salort-Pons. “The exhibition shows how Americans shape in their hearts and their minds the image of Van Gogh, through collecting … through publication … and also through the film industry.

There is a museum in this country; there is a city in this country … Detroit and the DIA … which has started this amazing story.”

Vincent van Gogh was a post-Impressionist artist who posthumously emerged as one of the art world’s most influential figures. His use of bold colors and impulsive brush strokes gave life to evocative images of landscapes, flowers, and people, offering an originality that endured to influence the modern art movement. His collective work of close to 900 paintings (most of which came from the last two years of his life), stemmed from a challenging existence of poverty and psychosis. Vincent van Gogh died in 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 37 years old.

Van Gogh in America” continues on display through January 27, 2023. Learn more and reserve tickets at DIA.org.


The DIA Celebrates Van Gogh’s Influence on America

November 17, 2023 ~ Jill Shaw, the curator of the “Van Gogh In America” exhibit, with Salvador Salort-Pons, the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, at the DIA in Detroit. Photo: Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK