(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Van Gogh

I’m a roadrunner, baby…


Given the breadth of James Franco’s artistic endeavors, he was bound to inspire imitation…

[TotH to Flavorpill]


As we rethink our use of the comparative superlative “an arm and a leg,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1901 that the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris opened a show of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh– who had committed suicide 11 years earlier.  Van Gogh, who had sold only one work during his lifetime, was commemorated by small (and uneventful) shows after his death.  But the BJ show– 71 paintings– became a sensation… and Van Gogh began his rise to a level of esteem and fame surely unimaginable to him during his life.

self-portrait, 1887 (source)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 17, 2011 at 1:01 am

Fashion *is* art…

Staffers from the Japanese apparel company Onward Kashiyama arranged 2,700 polo shirts in 24 colors to reproduce a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh:

As we gently touch our ears, we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that an artist of a different variety, Neil Patrick Harris, was born.  A successful television comedian, he has starred in Doogie Howser, MD and in How I Met Your Mother; he has hosted the Emmys, Tonys, and opened the Oscars; and he has starred in Joss Whedon’s musical web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

But Harris is best known, of course, for his pivotal performance in the epic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

Birthday Boy, center

Bedroom Secrets…

One of the best-loved works in Vincent van Gogh’s oeuvre is The Bedroom. It was painted in October 1888, when the artist was living in the Yellow House in Arles. To give his brother Theo an impression of the painting he was working on, Van Gogh sent him a letter with a detailed sketch. A day later he also sent a sketch to his friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin.

He put a great deal of thought into the composition and the colours, and we know from his letters that he was very pleased with the result. ‘But the colour has to do the job here,’ he wrote, ‘and through its being simplified by giving a grander style to things, to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general.’

Vincent van Gogh considered The bedroom an important painting. In early 1889, Van Gogh returned home from the hospital in Arles. He had been admitted there after his psychological crisis and the injury to his ear. As he wrote to Theo, ‘When I saw my canvases again after my illness, what seemed to me the best was The Bedroom.

From Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, “Bedroom Secrets,” a blog chronicling the restoration of “The Bedroom.”

As we gingerly touch our ears, we might wish a brisk Happy Birthday to Frederick Winslow Taylor, an engineer and inventor (42 patents) who’s best remembered as the father of “Scientific Management,” the discipline rooted in efficiency studies and standardization.  Quoth Peter Drucker:

Frederick W. Taylor was the first man in recorded history who deemed work deserving of systematic observation and study. On Taylor’s ‘scientific management’ rests, above all, the tremendous surge of affluence in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countries well above any level recorded before, even for the well-to-do. Taylor, though the Isaac Newton (or perhaps the Archimedes) of the science of work, laid only first foundations, however. Not much has been added to them since – even though he has been dead all of sixty years.

Taylor’s work encouraged many followers (e.g. Frank “Cheaper by the Dozen” Gilbreth) and effectively spawned the field of management consulting.  But Taylor practiced what he preached, and found time to become a champion tennis player as well:  he won the first doubles tournament (1881) in U.S. National Championships, the precursor of the U.S. Open (with partner Clarence Clark).

Frederick W. Taylor

Lending you his ear…

From the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, all 902 letters written to and from Vincent Van Gogh.  They’re beautifully reproduced, annotated, transcribed, and translated– a rare and precious look at a rare and precious artist.

As we form Impressionistic impressions, we might wonder that two very different public figures were born on this date in 1925.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady…

“No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well. “

and terrifyingly insightful comedian Lenny Bruce…

“Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, what is. And what should be is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago.”

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 13, 2009 at 12:01 am

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