“Van Gogh in America” celebrates the Detroit Institute of Art’s status as the first American museum to purchase a painting by the artist; and the hundredth anniversary of that purchase. The first American exhibit was in 1913 and not a single piece of art of was purchased. In 1922, the DIA purchased his “Self-Portrait” of 1887, and it was featured along with loans of works by Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne. In fact, the next four paintings that were purchased by American museums were all in the Mid-west (Chicago, Kansas City, Saint Louis and Toledo) and they were also in this exhibit.
My Bride and I and one of her girlfriends went to see this once in a lifetime collection of immense proportions of the works of Van Gogh. We had to book a time slot, and then when we go there, the ladies had to check their coats and their purses, they were allowed a clear plastic bag “purse” for their valuables. This was because of the obscene actions of protesting climate activist Nazis that attempted to splatter the “Mona Lisa” with soup and glue themselves to the walls in the gallery at the Louvre. I would venture to say that it almost felt like there were as many guards as there were patrons, but the art was on loan from around the world from both museums and private collections, so security was vital. The exhibit was awesome, and we had to go backwards in the galleries a couple of times to look at some of the pieces several times, as we wouldn’t probably get a chance ever again in our lifetime. At the end of the exhibit there was a gift shop, and my Bride purchased the last copy of a book, that shows a color photograph of every painting done by Van Gogh, and our “Founders Society” membership helped here.
When I was in high school, on occasion there were times when I skipped school, I guess I can admit it now, to go to the DIA to absorb all the different art collections, and we are still enraptured with the collections and we go there periodically for a wonderful day trip. Surprisingly, the DIA had abbreviated hours, we had planned on having some wine in the Kresge Court and then go for dinner afterwards, across the street at Chartreuse. The DIA was closing, except for “Van Gogh in America” ticket holders and Chartreuse wasn’t going to open for another hour. We were told to try a small little café around the corner from Chartreuse and we went in for some wine. Her girlfriend ordered a Bloody Mary and said it was the spiciest concoction that she had ever had, she drank it slowly and she was glad that she also had a glass of water as a chaser. My Bride and I had a glass of Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Traditional Method Cava NV from J. Garcia Carrion. J. Garcia Carrion is the largest winery and the second largest fruit juice producer in Europe. They were founded in 1890 and produce wines in ten different DO regions of Spain, and also more wines and brandies outside of the DO regions. Their major label is Don Simon was created in 1980 and one of the first box wines in Spain, the label is now used for their Sangria, juices and soft drinks. Jaume Serra is made in the Traditional Method that is required for Cava and is a blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo. There is not much to go glean from the company, but the wine was very refreshing and very tasty and filled in the hour that we had to keep ourselves occupied with.