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UTSC prof’s Van Gogh book wins national award

Modris Eksteins' book explores the rise of the Modernist movement through the work of Vincent van Gogh.

UTSC Professor Emeritus Modris Eksteins’ book about Vincent van Gogh and the rise of Modernism won the $40,000 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Eksteins’ Solar Dance: Genius, Forgery and the Crisis of Truth in the Modern Age looks at the political and artistic movement through the lens of Van Gogh’s work, especially as it was perceived in Germany’s Weimar Republic.

The prize, one of the most prestigious in Canada for non-fiction literature, is presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established by the province in 2003.

Eksteins’ is a professor of history specializing in 20th century Europe, especially Germany between the World Wars. In his book, he examines how Van Gogh helped give rise to artistic, cultural and political movements that emphasized authenticity and the primacy of personal experience.

The jury that bestowed the award said that the book is a “fascinating work of cultural history, and a provocative analysis of the roots of the modern era as it developed in the social and political turmoil of the early 20th century.”

You can read an interview with Eksteins about the book here.


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