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arlier this week I was talking to a friend about the need for a change of scenery—mine, specifically, but I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who needs to mix things up for the express purpose of returning to a place that can sometimes feel alarmingly like stasis.

We managed to see something different over The Three’s winter break from school, but just barely. Some of us were still sick when we hit the road, but the tickets for the Denver Art Museum‘s Van Gogh exhibit were non-refundable and really, can’t one be sick anywhere, Denver included?

The Three made it through an hour’s worth of post-impressionist masterpieces but there wasn’t a chance of forcing them through the new Clyfford Still Museum after that. They were game to spend an hour in The Tattered Cover, the city’s landmark independent bookstore, though, and no one complained about the stop at Fluid Coffee Bar, either. (They make hot chocolate, too, you understand.)

On the drive home I thought a lot about who our fast, chilly trip had really been for. Mostly me, I think. But when I asked Roy about the picture he’d started in the museum’s paint studio, he told me he’d been put in the mind of landscapes during his forced march through the Van Gogh collection. This, he explained, is what had been playing out on his small canvas.

So maybe it wasn’t just for me.


“Becoming Van Gogh” runs two more weeks at the Denver Art Museum, with expanded evening hours to welcome as many visitors as can make the trip. If you have the time and the inclination, don’t miss it!