September 8, 2005
Source: University of Waterloo:
Van Gogh the subject of inaugural Cummings Lecture at St. Jerome's
WATERLOO, Ont. -- A tormented artist, disdained by his peers only to
become a celebrated icon of the 20th century, is the subject of the
inaugural Laurence A. Cummings Lecture in Cultural History at St.
Dr. Modris Eksteins addresses the topic of "Art, Fame, and the
Problem of Authenticity: Vincent van Gogh and Us" on Friday,
September 16 at 7:30 p.m., in Siegfried Hall.
Eksteins examines Van Gogh's life and art to understand how this
obscure 19th century artist -- the victim of poverty, critical
neglect, unrequited love, mental illness and suicide -- rose to
near-mythic status in the 20th century. His distinctive
post-impressionist canvases, once unsold, now command record prices.
What does this transformation say about Van Gogh and, more
importantly, about us?
A Rhodes Scholar and a Professor of History at the University of
Toronto (Scarborough), 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 Amazon.ca's 50 essential Canadian
books. 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.
The Laurence A. Cummings Lecture in Cultural History was established
by students of Dr. Cummings, a professor of English at St. Jerome's
from 1962 to 1972, who went on to found the cultural history program
at the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture. Admission is
free but space is limited.
Graduates of St. Jerome's University who were taught by Dr. Cummings
or who belonged to his theatrical troupe, St. Aethelwold's Players,
are also invited to a reunion brunch on Saturday, September 17 at 10
a.m. at the university. Call Sarah Daly at (519) 884-8111, ext. 8277
Harry Froklage, Director of Development and Graduate Affairs, St.
Jerome's University, (519) 884-8110, ext. 8255; 1-888-SJC-INFO;
froklage at uwaterloo.ca
Release no. 198 -- September 8, 2005