The stubbornness with which press and public cling to the myth that van Gogh was, at least by implication, a chronic lunatic, is both amazing and disheartening to those who love accuracy and know something of the artists struggling, toilsome and, in many aspects, inspiring life.
While looking at Van Gogh documents I found this beautiful “letter to the editor” from 1935 in the MOMA archives . At the time a newspaper had printed a caption under a portrait of Van Gogh stating: “Self Portrait of Mad Dutch Painter”. Mr. Edward Schindler felt that this caption was not only inaccurate, but also an unjust portrayal of the painter. He sent in this letter in response to the caption. It is so heartfelt and beautifully written. Mr. Schindeler writes…
At the "time of the opening of the first representative van Gogh exhibition in the United States, it might not be amies to direct attention to the prevalent misconception concerning this painter; a misconception which was epitomized in the line accompanying the photo of a self-portrait in recent editions of several newspapers: Self portrait of Mad Dutch Painter.
In an age where word are often quickly written and quickly published, this letter showed so much thought, consideration and was just so heartfelt. It’s definitely worth reading.
The PDF press releases are some of my favorite documents in the archive. Here is another favorite, a press release from 1935 “MORE THAN 100,000 PEOPLE SEE VAN GOGH EXHIBIT”. So many good things to share from the archives, too many. I could make all the articles from the archives, but this letter to the editor is a favorite.
"The ability to ask the right questions is the single most important skill." -President, BOC Edwards
On creativity and imagination he notes, “Clay Parker stressed the importance of employees whom he hires being more than just smart. "I want people who can think -- they're not just bright -- they're also inquisitive. Are they engaged, are they interested in the world?" And Mark Summers told me: "People who've learned to ask great questions and have learned to be inquisitive are the ones who move the fastest in our environment because they solve the biggest problems in ways that have most impact on innovation."
Maria writes, “Presence, he argues, helps build the child’s confidence by way of indicating he is worthy of the observer’s thoughts and attention — its absence, on the other hand, divorces in the child the journey from the destination by instilling a sense that the activity itself is worthless unless it’s a means to obtaining praise. Grosz reminds us how this plays out for all of us, and why it matters throughout life:
Being present, whether with children, with friends, or even with oneself, is always hard work. But isn’t this attentiveness — the feeling that someone is trying to think about us — something we want more than praise?”
The Christian life is an attentive life (Mark 13:37; Luke 21:36; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:8). The Christian life is a hearing life(Mark 4:24; Luke 8:21; John 10:27; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 3:7–8). But attentive listening to Jesus does not come naturally. It must be cultivated and diligently guarded. And there is no formula for how to pay closer attention. It is cultivated by making attentiveness habitual — by practicing the habits of grace. We learn to pay attention by intentionally trying to pay attention. The Spirit will help us if we ask the Father to teach us (Luke 11:9–10; Psalm 25:4).
So whatever it takes, we must pay attention to what we hear. For Jesus’s ways and words are often counterintuitive, and we live in a destructively distracting age. And everything hangs on how well we hear Jesus.