File 2122 - Reading notes on Vincent van Gogh : General

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-7-1-2122


Reading notes on Vincent van Gogh : General


  • [between 1979 - 1982] (Creation)

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2.2 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Archival history

Nouwen most likely had these four volumes of reading notes bound at one of three possible times: either during his retreat from February to September in 1979 at the Abbey of the Genesee or during his July - September 1981 or his March - June 1982 retreat to the Abbey following his resignation from Yale.

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Scope and content

File consists of a bound volume of handwritten reading notes by Nouwen and some photocopied articles on Vincent van Gogh. This is volume I of IV. Nouwen has designated this volume as "General".
Much of the reading notes by Nouwen of van Gogh's correspondence follows subject headings such as "Loneliness", "Nature", "Olive Trees" etc. The reading notes also cover works such as John Rewald's "Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin", James L. Foy's "Vincent Van Gogh: The Crisis in Identity", J.B. De la Faille's "The Works of Vincent Van Gogh", and Albert J. Lubin's "Stranger on the Earth". Nouwen also has reading notes on van Gogh's own correspondence to Theo van Gogh and Emile Bernard, as well as contemporary accounts by Antonin Artaud, Gaston Bachelard, H.P. Bremmer, Charles Mauron, and Fritz Novotny. The bound volume also includes a photocopied excerpt of "Paul Gauguin's Intimate Journals", (translated by Van Wyck Brooks), and the photocopied article by Harold P. Blum titled "Van Gogh's Chairs".

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Title based on contents of the file.
This file has been dated according to the probable date of binding, as it is unclear as to when Nouwen first began researching van Gogh, nor his research methodology.
There is a library spine label on this bound volume: ND 1230 .G6N68, and bound volume contains a "Genesee Abbey Library" stamp on the title page.
Some of the reading notes are on School of Divinity, Saint John's University, (Collegeville Minnesota) letterhead.
It appears a page has been cut out of the bound volume between a note titled "portrait painter" and "reading".


Nouwen did a considerable amount of personal research into the life and religious development of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, particularly during his holidays, sabbaticals and spiritual retreats at the Abbey of the Genesee, The Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota, and other monastic centres throughout the 1970s.

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Accession Number

2000 01


Box 272

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