Books & Other Publications
VAN GOGH’S UNTOLD JOURNEY
Revelations of Faith, Family,
& Artistic Inspiration
by William J. Havlicek, Ph.D.
Art historian and lecturer William J. Havlicek’s acclaimed book Van Gogh’s Untold Journey is based largely on Vincent’s astonishing letters of which over 900 exist. This important work, the result of over 15 years of research, holds some compelling revelations, among them the artist’s vicarious relationship with Charles Dickens, his early days as a missionary in the Borinage mining region of Belgium, and his fraught, often volatile, relationship with Paul Gaugin. Perhaps most revealing is Havlicek’s discovery of how the inspired words of Victor Hugo, embodied in one of the characters in his classic Les Misérables, gave Van Gogh the idea for one of his most celebrated paintings of all: The Starry Night.
The book also dispels much of the myth that has come to surround Vincent’s tumultuous life. In the words of the author, “The letters reveal an unknown, adventurous, deeply compassionate Vincent whose essence seems to have been lost in the dramatic and often apocryphal stories surrounding his illness and early death. My effort therefore was to unveil these unknown aspects of Vincent—ones that are even heroic and certainly praiseworthy.”
“Dr. Havlicek offers an intimate perspective on the life of Van Gogh through an examination of Vincent’s personal letters to his family. I enjoyed learning about Vincent’s faith, his struggles in relationships with others and with God, and how he translated life’s issues into his artwork. The book itself is gorgeous, full of large color plates that accompany the text. Holding this book in your hands feels like holding something of top quality. Open the book to any passage, and the sense of quality is reinforced through the content. Dr. Havlicek writes with passion, intelligence, and clarity, creating a book with provocative insights, interesting connections, and lessons about the preciousness of life. It will inspire you!” ~ Amazon Reviewer Tiburon SC
Van Gogh’s Enduring Legacy
And the Remarkable Woman Who
Changed the History of Art
by William J. Havlicek and David A. Glen
Authors William J. Havlicek and David A. Glen, in Van Gogh’s Enduring Legacy, continue to enhance and enrich Vincent’s story with new research, embracing the one person hitherto—and to a large extent—ignored: Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, his sister-in-law. For without Johanna, little of the inimitable Vincent would ever have been known.
This important work, which delves deeply into the hundreds of letters between Vincent and his brother Theo, and those between Theo and Johanna, provides new insight into the artist’s true character nurtured from his abiding faith, the influence of family, and the tender solicitude he felt for mankind.
Van Gogh’s Enduring Legacy furthermore brings to light the prestigious patronage of Helene Kröller-Müller, the wife of a wealthy industrialist, who was to accumulate the second-largest collection of Van Gogh drawings and paintings, now displayed in the renowned Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. The Kröller-Müller collection is, in itself, a remarkable testiment to Johanna’s astute advocacy of Vincent’s art and writings long after his death.
We have been privileged throughout history with many accounts of the lives of extraordinary and accomplished women; and Johanna’s provides us with yet another. Her story, that of the caring and steadfast Theo, and the remarkable patronage of Helene Kröller-Müller, have long deserved illumination as they are inextricably tied to Vincent van Gogh as of one of history’s artistic icons.
This beautifully illustrated and well-researched literary tour de force is now the most comprehensive and definitive story of Vincent’s life, and the remarkable woman who changed the history of art.