Art, Fame, and the Problem of Authenticity: Vincent van Gogh and Us

Vincent van Gogh was an iconic figure for the twentieth century. Although he died ten years before it began, the events of the twentieth century would kindle a critical and popular interest in his work and life that exalted him, in time, to near-mythic status. The catastrophic circumstances of his life – poverty, critical neglect, unrequited love, mental illness and suicide – coupled with his luminous artistry rendered him a tragic figure emblematic of a tragic time. Dr. Modris Eksteins examines what van Gogh’s revolutionary transformation reveals about the cultural history of the modern age.

Dr. Modris Eksteins

A Rhodes Scholar and Professor of History at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Dr. Eksteins is currently researching a book on Vincent van Gogh. He is the author of Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (1989), winner of the Trillium Prize and the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association, and selected one of’s fifty essential Canadian books. His Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of Our Century (1999) won the inaugural Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize and was selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by The Globe and Mail, Los Angeles Times, The Independent, and Times Literary Supplement.

Friday, September 16, 2005 - 7:30pm
Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University