Jill Shaw curates 'Van Gogh in America' at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Jill Shaw curates 'Van Gogh in America' at the Detroit Institute of Arts

November 1, 2022

Image of the exhibit

Congratulation to Jill Shaw, doctoral alumna of the University of Chicago, on her curation of the latest exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Van Gogh in America.

Shaw completed her dissertation in the Art History department, on Jean Dubuffet, in June 2013, while also working almost full-time as a researcher in modern European at the Art Institute, where she researched, co-authored and edited their extensive online scholarly catalogues of Monet and Renoir.  In 2014, she was appointed curator at the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate; in 2016 she moved to be associate curator and then the Rebecca A. Boylan and Thomas W. Sidlik Curator of European Art, 1850-1970 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

On the 100th anniversary of the DIA's acquisition of Vincent van Gogh's Self-Portrait (1887), Shaw has curated an exhibition of 74 authentic Van Gogh works from around the world, alongside pieces by Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse and others, which explore the story of America’s introduction to this iconic artist. Van Gogh in America has been very well-received by critics and widely reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, The Art Newspaper, and the New York Times, amongst others.

The exhibition, centered on the first half of Van Gogh’s 20th century fame, is one of the biggest and most comprehensive Van Gogh exhibitions and the first to focus on how he and his work captured American imaginations. The purchase in 1922 of Van Gogh's Self-Portrait by the DIA was deemed courageous but, over the course of the next two decades, an increasing number of American galleries and museums purchased and exhibited his works.

The Wall Street Journal praises Shaw's exhibit, saying: '“Van Gogh in America” plies a strong narrative, beautifully realized with his artworks at every step. It will no doubt be enjoyed for that dazzling art, but it should also be appreciated for showing how museums and pop culture help shape artistic taste and for challenging our own willingness to accept the new.'

Van Gogh in America runs from October 2, 2022, to January 22, 2023, at the Detroit Institute of Arts.