Van Gogh Museum Supports Ph.D. Candidate's Study of Gauguin and His Peers

"Tahitian Women Bathing" by Paul Gaugin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.
"Tahitian Women Bathing" by Paul Gauguin, 1892. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.

Ph.D. candidate Aaron Slodounik (Art History) was awarded this year’s Van Gogh Museum Research Grant, which provides €5,000 (about $5,700) in funding to support research on European art aimed at future publication.
The grant will help Slodounik research his dissertation, “The Painter and his Poets: Paul Gauguin and Interartistic Exchange,” an exploration of artworks and poetry exchanged between the artist and his literary peers. The dissertation also examines Gauguin’s collaborations on his Tahitian travel journal, Noa Noa.
Slodounik will use the grant to study original prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Art Institute of Chicago; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and to visit archives in Chicago and Philadelphia.
“I was surprised and am quite honored to receive this recognition from the Van Gogh Museum,” said Slodounik. “The grant will allow me to spend more time looking closely at hundreds of prints from Gauguin’s Noa Noa series and to delve into the archives of his contemporaries AndreĢ Mellerio and Charles Morice.”
Professor Judy Sund (Art History), Slodounik’s dissertation supervisor, said his research offers a fresh perspective on Gauguin’s works and processes. “Gauguin’s many Tahitian paintings and prints are routinely interpreted as documents of his time there, but Aaron’s research shows that in many cases, the painter constructed his works' meanings later, in retrospect, in France,” she said. “Also, by thinking of Gauguin as a collaborator, Aaron’s dissertation sheds new light on an artist we think we know well.”
The Van Gogh Museum Research Grant supports the work of early-career researchers writing on a topic related to the museum’s collection. The museum, based in Amsterdam, houses the largest repository of Van Gogh’s art and numerous works by his contemporaries, including Gauguin.
“As the study of Gauguin, both in terms of his art and his social networks, is very relevant for the Van Gogh Museum, we welcome Aaron’s interesting approach to Gauguin’s interactions within his artistic milieu,” says Van Gogh Museum junior curator Joost van der Hoeven. “We encourage Aaron in conducting his proposed research, and we are very curious to learn about his results.”

Submitted on: SEP 1, 2017

Category: Art History | General GC News | Grants | Student News