April 1 – July 2, 2006
Waiting for Van Gogh captures the major currents of 19th century painting in the Netherlands. Although Vincent Van Gogh ultimately won the day, his precursors, such as Anton Mauve, Josef Israëls, Willem Maris and Hendrick Mesdag were highly sought after in Europe and America for their landscapes, seascapes and scenes of peasant life. The works of art in this exhibition represents the first generation of artists after the proclamation of the Republic in 1813 through the Romantic Period to the Hague School at end of the 19th-century. In their search for a truly national style, many artists looked back to the Golden Age of the seventeenth century, while others sought forward-looking approaches to exemplify the new Netherlands. Modern in its simplicity and limited palette, yet traditional in its close observation of native lowlands, the Hague School was at its height when Van Gogh visited and wrote about its artists in the early 1880s. The works featured in this exhibition connect two of the Crocker's collection strengths – paintings from the 17th-century Golden Age in Holland and 19th-century art from Northern Europe – and will shed new light on both.