In 1922, our Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in America to purchase a painting created by an obscure post-impressionist, Vincent Willem van Gogh. Today, the Self Portrait from 1887 is recognized among the most treasured works of art on the planet.

Normally, we and visitors from around the world enjoy the Dutch masterpiece and the other incredible wonders on display Tuesdays through Sundays at DIA. Due to the national emergency posed by COVID-19, we must wait an unknown period of time until we get the all-clear from the National CDC and Michigan DHHS to visit.

So, it is with great sadness that Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA Director, President, and CEO, reported Saturday that the institution will delay the opening of the coming Van Gogh in America blockbuster that was slated to open in June, 2020.

Featuring three-plus score paintings by Van Gogh and his contemporaries from collections across the country, the special DIA exhibition will be moved back to Van Gogh in America’s centennial in 2022. The exhibition will open October 2, 2022 and run through January 22, 2023.

To help ease the time, if not to hasten the day when we can welcome visitors to DTW (Detroit Wayne County International Airport), here’s a link to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. That museum also is closed for in-person visits, but the good people there welcome us to enjoy their works virtually.

While it may not hasten the day when we can enjoy our van Gogh and the coming DIA exhibit, we can make the time fly by enjoying work by an artist who connects with us across time and place.

dp van gogh the almond blossoms

Almond Blossom, 1890, Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam collection.


dp van gogh stolen spring garden i5

The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, 1884, Groninger Museum collection, stolen while on loan to  Singer Laren Museum.

Heartbreaking news from Holland: Vincent van Gogh painting stolen from museum in overnight raidClick here for details.

A reminder from Paperless Lion: 

DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons and his colleagues in Amsterdam are doing the wise thing. Maintaining social distancing now will speed the day of re-opening their institutions. More importantly, it will reduce the numbers of those impacted by COVID-19.

Not only has Detroit has seen bad times before — The Great Depression,  World War II, Jim Crow — we BEAT them. And in the process, we built the Middle Class and preserved Democracy.

Getting up when knocked down and trying your best, again and again, until the job is done is the mark of greatness. Together, Detroit and the United States of America can — and will — again emerge victorious.

Please let us know your thoughts at dperforms We’d also like to hear your recommendations at the DIA and other museums around the City, State, Nation and Planet.

Thanks! Stay safe and healthy, friends and neighbors!