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Not going to Europe this year? Three places to see Van Gogh exhibits in the U.S.

Three U.S. cities will host Van Gogh exhibits this spring and summer.

If Europe's not on your radar this year but you want to get a dose of Vincent van Gogh, you can find at least three places in the U.S. this summer that are planning special exhibitions of his work.

Museums in western Massachusetts, New York City and Pittsburgh will join European counterparts in marking the 125th anniversary of the artist's death.

The most important of the three U.S. exhibitions is “Van Gogh and Nature” at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. This exhibition June 14-Sept. 13 will focus on Van Gogh’s study and depiction of nature and will feature 50 paintings and drawings from major museums in the United States and Europe.

Also featured: works from the Clark’s permanent collection that reflect Van Gogh’s interest in nature, including a tulip field painting by Monet, “The Sower” by Millet, and Japanese prints of natural subjects.

The museum and nearby arts organizations also will offer related activities, including hikes through the museum’s trails in July and August; performances during the Bang on a Can Plays Art Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams in late July; and daytime and evening drawing and watercolor classes at the Clark in July and August.

Through Aug. 16, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is showing four Van Gogh paintings -- two of irises, two of roses -- done shortly before his death in 1890 and owned by the Met, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

This is the first time these four paintings have been shown together; their presentation is also timed to coincide with the seasonal blooming of roses and irises. 

In fact, the Met has worked with the New York Botanical Garden to include horticultural information on the flowers on the exhibition’s website

Also on the website and in the show are videos that explore Van Gogh’s working practices and how the paintings on display once appeared and subsequently faded.

Special programming will include a July 23 dialogue between a perfumer and art historian about flowers and fragrance.

The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh has a small show through July 6 featuring three works by Van Gogh -- including his 1887 “Still Life, Basket of Apples” from the Saint Louis Art Museum -- and a fourth by Signac.

Special programming includes the one-man play “Vincent,” written and originally performed by Leonard Nimoy, on June 13 and 14.

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