View Van Gogh Up Close in Philadelphia with Curator from Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

January 11, 2012

New Brunswick, NJ – Visit Van Gogh Up Close, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and two historic Fairmount Park Houses on Tuesday, February 7, on the Zimmerli Art Museum’s next bus trip. Associate Curator of European Art Christine Giviskos joins the trip to provide insight in addition to the guided tours. The bus departs at 8:15 a.m. from the Sears parking lot on Route 1 in New Brunswick and returns by 5:30 p.m. The cost of the trip, which includes transportation, lunch, and tours, is $105 for Zimmerli members and $115 for nonmembers. Please call 732.932.7237, ext. 611, or email to register.

The day begins with a guided tour of Van Gogh Up Close before public exhibition hours. This rare assembly of nearly 50 masterpieces from public and private collections focuses on van Gogh’s final four years, when he executed some of his most expressive and original paintings, while fiercely struggling with mental illness. Van Gogh arrived in Paris in 1886, where he encountered the work of the impressionists and other postimpressionists, as well as Japanese woodblocks, which sparked a period of radical artistic experimentation that shaped many aspects of modern painting. His dramatic developments with brushwork, perspective, depth, color, and scale infused familiar still lifes and landscapes with a new energy. Before his death in 1890, van Gogh also applied these techniques to some of his most recognized works created in Arles, Saint-Rémy, and Auvers. In the artist’s pursuit of creating the sensory and emotional experience of being outdoors on canvas, he embraced the ideas of Japanese artists who worked in close communion with nature. The installation includes several Japanese prints, allowing visitors to compare firsthand the influence on van Gogh. This exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and will be shown exclusively at these two venues. The visit concludes with lunch on the museum’s east balcony.

The trip continues with guided tours of Mount Pleasant and Woodford, two historic homes in Fairmount Park that exemplify eighteenth-century tastes in architecture and represent the elegant lifestyle of colonial elites. Mount Pleasant was built in the early 1760s as a country estate by John McPherson, the colorful Scottish privateer and American patriot. His Scottish interpretation of the Georgian style includes stunning interiors and breathtaking vistas. The home also displays the craftsmanship of some of Philadelphia’s leading artisans at the time. Woodford was built in the late 1750s by William Coleman, a Philadelphia merchant and close friend of Benjamin Franklin. It reflects the individual lives of early residents who were loyal to both sides during the Revolutionary War. The home also is one of the most elegant surviving “summer retreats,” popular along the Schuylkill River during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Today, this Georgian-style house provides the backdrop for an extraordinary display of eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts, including delftware. The collection was assembled in the early 1900s by Naomi Wood, a Philadelphia socialite, and her good friend Daniel Huntoon, who both foresaw the importance of preserving historical artifacts for future generations.

Future trips include: the Cloisters and Bronx Museum of Art on April 26, and the Delaware Art Museum and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library on June 12.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in nineteenth-century French art; Russian art, from icons to avant-garde material; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli’s operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Johnson & Johnson; and the donors, members, and friends of the museum.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for adults over 65; and free for museum members, Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 732.932.7237, ext. 610 or visit the museum’s website:


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