This painting is Van Gogh’s Vase with Poppies. It was donated by a private collector to the Wordsworth Athenian Museum of Art in Hartford Connecticut in 1957. But the museum kept it tucked away for more than two decades after questions about its authenticity were raised. So for about 25 years, the painting was either unviewed and was either in storage. At one point, it was actually hanging on the wall of the accounting office here at the Museum just as a decoration to the wall. In 1995, staff set out to find out once and for all if the painting was authentic. They tried using a complex X-Ray machine at a hospital, but the images they got still weren’t conclusive enough to declare the painting a true Van Gogh.
Finally, the museum purchased new advanced technical equipment and try it again. Expert Alan Kasana which studies the result, and under the depiction of Poppies, he saw another painting resembling Van Gogh’s self-portrait. Here on the right, we’re seeing the X-Ray of the poppies and its current orientation, and on the left, you can see the poppies upside down and there are lines highlighting the ear and the nose.
But the final report confirming the paintings authenticity is expected from the Van Gogh’s Museum in Amsterdam. The report is being written as we speak. It’s an authentic painting and I thought to myself what a great opportunity to share this with the world in an organized way, in a way that will open up new conversations both here in Connecticut and around the world. And just like that after a long journey through storage rooms and X-Ray cabinets, Van Gogh’s Vases Poppies is back on display for the world to see.