Van Gogh at the National Gallery of Art
Mary Morton, curator and head, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art. A portrait of Joseph Roulin, the postman made famous by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) in a series of portraits, was on view at the National Gallery of Art for the first time thanks to a loan from the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands. Portrait of Monsieur Roulin (1889) hung alongside the Gallery’s own Roulin’s Baby (1888), a portrait of the postman’s daughter Marcelle as an infant. In honor of this historic pairing, the Gallery mounted the exhibition Celebrating Van Gogh at the National Gallery of Art, which opened to the public on June 8, 2014. To mark the exhibition closing on September 7, 2014, Mary Morton presented a lecture on the riches of the Gallery’s Van Gogh paintings. In addition to seven other paintings on view, two new Van Gogh works have arrived within the last year at the bequest of renowned philanthropist, art collector, and Gallery benefactor Paul Mellon (1907–1999). The paintings had been in the home of Mellon’s wife, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, until her death at age 103 on the Gallery’s anniversary, March 17, 2014.