REILY: Van Gogh self portrait gives me moment of pause

Van Gogh self portrait on display at Mississippi Museum of Art

Van Gogh self portrait on display at Mississippi Museum of Art

I am certainly no art expert, but I have enjoyed visiting art museums across the country and I have fully supported the art community whereever I have lived.

My family and I are members of the Mississippi Museum of Art and frequently visit the downtown Jackson location for any number of programs or camps for the kids.

So, I was surprised at my response to a painting last week when we visited the museum as my wife and I took the kids for lunch on a rare off-weekday from school.

The Mississippi Museum of Art is home to a permanent collection of more than 5,000 works of art and hosts traveling exhibits such as the 2013 spring/summer exhibition, “Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Painting from the Wadsworth Atheneum.”

It was amazing to see some of the famous paintings that I had only read about in books.

Yet, when I walked up to the self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, I actually had chills run through my body. I am not sure that has ever happened to me.

Van Gogh painted many self portraits, but this one — the one he did in 1887 — spoke to me in a way that is hard to explain. There is a haunting look in his deeply recessed eyes and I felt as if I knew him and could feel the same intensity he felt at the time.

Kind of crazy, I know.

But, I am thankful to the Mississippi Museum of Art for bringing a great opportunity to our state for all of us to enjoy.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at or (601) 364-1018

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One Response to “REILY: Van Gogh self portrait gives me moment of pause”

  1. Debra L Ferguson Says:

    Enjoyed your thoughts. I’m thankful to live in a city with such a wonderful Museum,and hope to visit the exhibit soon.

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